In a new interview with Rolling Stone, BTS fielded questions about everything from xenophobia and masculinity to romantic relationships. They also opened up about their military service, and life after it.
In South Korea, all men are required to enlist in the military by their 28th birthday, with few exceptions. Athletes who have won medals in the Olympics or Asian Games are exempt from serving, but there were no such exemptions for award-winning K-Pop stars until last year.
In December of 2020, just days before Jin‘s 28th birthday, South Korea passed the so-called “BTS Law.” Male K-Pop entertainers who have received government medals for their domestic and global cultural contributions can now apply for a deferment until the age of 30.
A pop-culture artist who was recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have greatly enhanced the image of Korea both within the nation and throughout the world” would now be able to wait until he’s 30 to serve.
— Jin’s reprieve from military service, Rolling Stone
How does Jin feel about his two-year extension? “I think the country sort of told me, ‘You’re doing this well, and we will give you a little bit more time,’ ” he told Rolling Stone.
Jin also said that he plans to make the most of his time until duty calls.
[Military service] is an important duty for our country. So I feel that I will try to work as hard as I can and do the most I can until I am called.
As for his six younger members, Jin trusts them to make their own decisions about when and how they will enlist.
I have no doubt that the other members will make a good decision because, you know, this is not something that I can tell them what to do. [If they do spend time as a six-piece,] “I’ll be sad, but I’ll be watching them on the internet and cheering them on.
Like Jin, V has confidence that everything will work out for the best. He believes ARMY will remain part of BTS’s life throughout their military service and after it.
So, yes, we will want to see ARMY as we do now. I’m sure it will work out so that we can continue to see ARMY. About military service, or what will happen, we haven’t discussed it in the specifics amongst ourselves, but I’m sure it’ll work out eventually.
With an extension, Jimin will not be required to serve until 2025, but he is already looking far into BTS’s future. That future he sees? It’s beautiful and long-lasting.
I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of being not a part of this group. I can’t imagine what I would do on my own. I think when I become older, and I grow my own beard, I would like to think that at the end, when I’m too old to dance, I would just like to sit onstage with the other members and sing and engage with the fans. I think that would be great, too. So I’d like to keep this going as long as I possibly can.
Read what V told Rolling Stone about being BTS’s hidden member, or check out Suga‘s thoughts below: