After recognising K-pop and BTS’ global significance as well as the cultural and economic assets they represent for South Korea, the government enacted a measure at the end of 2020 that increased the maximum age restriction for a K-pop star to join from 28 to 30 years old. As a result, the eldest member, Jin, was able to continue with his group for another year after turning 29 last year. However, as BTS’ birthday approaches in December, supporters and the cultural ministry have petitioned the government to consider granting him a total military exemption. While some fans may be disappointed by the decision, we may see an OT7 global tour in 2022.

South Korea ultimately consented to make a decision on BTS’ required military duty in June, after much discussion. A petition requested that the required military service rule be amended to exclude pop culture figures such as BTS. Athletes and persons with impairments have previously been exempted from required military service. The South Korean National Defense Commission agreed to hold a hearing, but the MCON Association is against (Korea Music Contents Association).

While there is yet to be a ruling on whether pop culture icons such as BTS should be included in the exemption clause, we did receive some good news on November 26. BTS will have seven members next year, according to reports, since all of the members of the K-pop group, including Jin, asked for a deferral, allowing them to delay their call to service until December 2022. The silver lining, according to fans, is that the worldwide K-pop group will be able to go on a world tour with all seven members in 2022. RM previously mentioned a 2021 AMAs tour.

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