Recently, the government announced that they would be reviewing the standards in which people may be exempt from mandatory military service. South Korean laws state that winners of international sports and art competitions may be exempt from the military service due to their role in spreading Korean culture internationally.
Now, with groups like BTS who are spreading Korean culture through their music, people believe that they should also be exempted from the military service. The government stated that they would be reconsidering the law.
According to Yonhap News, however, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, decided not to expand the criteria for exemption from military service. An official stated,
The expansion of our system is a matter of government discussion.
Because of this, groups like BTS who are active in both the Korean and global music market are expected to enlist without any special treatment.
Many Korean netizens stated their disappointment in this decision, saying that right now, BTS contributes the most to spreading Korean culture and that just because they haven’t won an international competition doesn’t mean they are undeserving of being exempt.