Not even the world’s biggest boy band will be exempted from military service, with all seven members of the BTS ‘highly expected’ to serve in the South Korean army, a leading diplomat has said.
Gunn Kim, South Korea’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, shared her views on the K-pop phenomenon and their ‘commitment’ to their home country in the wake of the growing tension between South Korea and her neighbor, North Korea, which a few days ago claimed to be successful. fired a Hwasong-17 missile.
The world’s biggest boy band is ‘very much’ expected to serve in the South Korean army as soon as they each turn 30 and for a minimum of 18 months
Analysts say the long-range ballistic missile may be capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
But the weapon, which was launched on March 24, is now thought to be a Hwasong-15, a smaller and less powerful missile that was first paraded five years ago, according to intelligence analysts in Seoul and Washington.
Nevertheless, South Korea remains in a tense situation with the Nordic region and attaches great importance to having a combat force ready.
North Korea announced that it had launched Hwasong-17, which was first unveiled at a military parade in Pyongyang two years ago (pictured)
It includes compulsory military service for all men aged 18 to 28 for a minimum of 18 months to add to the country’s 555,000 strong active force and 3.1 million reserve troops.
In a speech to The Sunday Times about BTS – which translated stands for ‘Bulletproof Boy Scouts’, Kim said: ‘Young Korean men are highly expected to serve the country, and these BTS members are role models for many young generations of Koreans.’
He added: ‘Most of our people expect our members of the BTS to fulfill their obligations as citizens of Korea. In the end, I think it will happen. ”
The boys have already gotten something of a slight respite given their global status, which along with millions of records sold includes more than 44 million followers on Twitter and a staggering nearly 62 million on Instagram.
North Korea has claimed that the newly launched missile is a Hwasong-17 – but analysts are still in doubt
In December 2020, the South Korean National Assembly passed the so-called BTS law, which allowed members of the band to postpone their military service until they turn 30.
But Kim Seok-Jin, who leaves Jin and is the band’s oldest member, turns 30 in December, sparking speculation that he will very soon soon replace dance moves with military moves.
In time, he will be joined by Suga, who is currently 29, J-Hope, 28, RM, 27, Jimin, 26, V, 26, and Jungkook, 24.
BTS, pictured in 2020, have been allowed to defer their military service until they turn 30
They will join a long line of well-known names who have served time in the military for decades.
Elvis Presley became famously filmed, and got a buzzcut after he was drafted into the US Army in 1958.
BTS could follow in the footsteps of other celebrities, including Elvis Presley, who served in the U.S. Army and is pictured in Germany on a mission in 1959
Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and his co-astronaut Buzz Aldrin both served during the Korean War, as did Sir Michael Caine, James Garner, and Johnny Cash.
Meanwhile, Paul Newman served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and Arnold Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian Army in 1965.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was required to enlist in the Austrian Army for one year at the age of 18
Jimi Hendrix also gained military experience before gaining fame. In 1961, when he was caught driving in stolen cars in Seattle, police gave him two options – go to jail or join the Army, where the pop sensation chose the latter.
Following last week’s missile launch by North Korea, the South Korean military responded with live-fire exercises of its own missiles, underscoring a resurgence of tensions while diplomatic relations remain frozen.
The budding music idol Jimi Hendrix was given the choice between imprisonment or joining the army in 1961
Washington also introduced new sanctions against five units and individuals in Russia and North Korea for transferring sensitive items to the Nordic missile program, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
This latest test was North Korea’s 12th round of arms launches this year and was considered the most provocative test since President Biden took office.