Serving His Country

Korean pop star begins military service


Photo from: New York Times Article

by Athena Freire, Student Writer

As K-Pop star, Jin, is sent off for mandatory military duty, many fans remain in the dark about Korea’s enlistment policy.

Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to go through a mandatory military service term of two years. This applies to any man who is able-bodied, but women are also allowed to enlist. Active duty doesn’t just include physical activity; research, social work, and more options are available. The service time period ranges from 21 to 24 months. 

Many famous people and Korean idols delay their service until later because they are scared of the impact it might have on their careers. Usually, men finish their high school education and then join the military. In other cases, they may hold off until after university or between it. 

There are exemptions to this mandatory service: any health issues preventing them and any person who has exceptional skills. These may include artists or athletes. If for any reason the military service is not completed, the man will serve jail time. 

Recently BTS member Jin enlisted in the South Korean military. This marks a pause for the Korean supergroup, saddening billions of fans around the world. Their management stated that the group will come back together in 2025.

But the question this interruption raises is whether fans are willing to wait it out for their favorite singers to complete their service.

By the looks of it, though, Jin’s fans don’t mind the two year wait.