In the last few months, BTS has gone from South Korean sensation to global sensation. They are the first K-pop group to ever receive a Grammy nomination, and the first to perform on Saturday Night Live. Tonight, they will perform on the season finale of The Voice. Despite their success, however, BTS said that they will be going on hiatus to serve in the South Korean Military.
According to South Korean law, all “able-bodied men” from age 18 to 28 have to serve a minimum of 21 months in the military. There are some exemptions offered for athletes and musicians, but K-pop acts are not usually included in the latter category. During a recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning, the group members talked about the possibility of their breaking up due to their civil duties.
BTS Announced That They Will Go on Hiatus to Serve In the South Korean Military
“As a Korean, it’s natural and someday, when duty calls, we’ll be ready to respond and do our best,” Jin explained. When asked about the possibility that the group could stay defunct after their military service has ended, Jungkook said that he preferred to focus on the positives. “I don’t want to think about it at this point,” he admitted. We have something really good going.” The group’s de facto leader, RM, elaborated on his group mate’s stance, saying that they prefer to think about their current success. “We just enjoy the ride. Live in the moment. And that’s all we can do,” he said.
The group also talked about their experiences in the United States, and what they’ve picked up during their tours. “I love hip hop,” RM revealed. “I love the pop music. And I love the Friends. Yeah, the TV show. My mom bought me the full series. I watched it, like, several times. I just want to speak and to listen and to understand musicians in America. I just want to say, ‘Thank you, Mom!'”
They Said That They Will Just ‘Live In the Moment’ Until Their Split
Suga, the group’s main rapper, also talked about having to room together during their tour, and how the close quarters have led to them getting closer as friends. “At first, we were like, ‘Why do we have to live together?'” he recalled. “But at some point we realized that this is really precious. And we’ve become really thankful.”
Do Jong-hwan, the Head of South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, confirmed that BTS will serve their country. “All of the BTS members say they will definitely enlist for military service,” he told the Korea Herald. “It is a shame that it is being reported as if the seven members [of BTS] are excusing themselves from military enlistment. As a matter of fact, they intend to do the exact opposite. The Ministry of Defense will work with the culture and arts department head to devise a reasonable alternative solution for artists.”