K-Pop Boy Band BTS Likely to Take Extended Break to Fulfill Mandatory Military Service in South Korea

"BTS" performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

"BTS" performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Apparently, being a global pop sensation doesn’t exempt anyone from mandatory military service in South Korea.

Yes, that means all seven members of K-pop phenom BTS are required to serve, according to a recent ruling from the defense ministry reported by Reuters. It also means the boy band will likely take an 18-month break from performing while its members carry out their civic duty.

“Exempting pop culture artists from military service even though they have made a contribution to the country’s reputation is not in line with the government’s stance to uphold justice and fairness,” the ministry said while announcing its decision on Thursday.

Currently at war with North Korea, South Korea requires men 18 or older to get a physical examination by the Military Manpower Administration, which can then lead to service. The BTS singers’ ages range from 22 to 26. Women are exempt.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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