South Korea Changes Law to Allow K-Pop’s BTS to Defer Military Service for Two Years

Fans of K-pop sensations BTS were relieved to learn that one of the seven-member band wouldn’t have to quit to join South Korea’s military for his mandatory service for another two years.

The country’s national assembly Tuesday amended South Korea’s conscription law in a way that would allow BTS’s oldest member, Kim Seok-jin, who is just shy of turning 28, when he would be required to report for duty, to postpone his military service until he is 30.

Currently top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their song “Life Goes On,” the members of BTS were already riding high. But the group’s fans were ecstatic at the prospect of seeing Mr. Kim, better known as Jin, singing and dancing for another two years along with the rest of BTS.

Many took to Twitter, Instagram and other social-media channels to celebrate, posting images and videos of the seven members together along with various emoji. “I hope I will be able to experience a BTS concert before Seok-jin begins his military service. YAAAYY!!” wrote one fan, calling themselves Palupi.

The reprieve came after months of campaigning to recognize the cultural clout of the country’s K-pop superstars, the same way sports stars such as Tottenham Hotspur soccer player Son Heung-min and classical musicians are sometimes exempted from military service for the prestige they bring the country.

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