During a committee for the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Jo Kyung Tae – an assemblyman for the Liberty Korea Party – brought up the subject of creating a special military service solely for BTS.
Recent lawmakers have been debating over the petitions by fans who suggest BTS be exempted or be put in a special category for their mandatory services. The topic argues that BTS should or should not be given special treatment just as the athletes and artisans who bring honor to Korea in foreign competitions are exempt from serving.
“BTS is spreading a high influence of our country, what do you think about [creating a special military service]?”
— Jo Kyung Tae
As a response, Do Jong Hwan – a secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism – revealed that BTS has expressed their desire to serve their mandatory service duties no matter what. He explained that the members feel uncomfortable by how the media play portrays them to be against enlisting in the army.
“All 7 members are very sensitive about how all of the media companies are (portraying them) like they don’t want to go to the army.
They said they will definitely enlist in the military.”
— Do Jong Hwan
Although BTS members have announced their intensions to serve their mandatory duties, the topic continues to be a hot debate between politicians and the citizens. Do Jong Hwan revealed that the lawmakers will consider all of the various opinions and come up with a decision after consulting with the correct governmental powers.
“Some say it should be abolished, some say there should be military tax on artists who pay a lot of money, some say there should be a cumulative point system or an extension for the age required for enlistment.
We will create a reasonable plan after considering all of the opinions.
We are currently discussing [the matter] with the Military Manpower Administration and Department of Defense.”
— Do Jong Hwan