Seoul, Oct 17 (EFE).- The music label that manages South Korean boy-band BTS saddened millions of fans all over the world on Monday by announcing that its seven members will carry out mandatory military service in their country, with a minimum duration of 18 months, aiming to regroup as a band around 2025.
Having announced last summer that the band members would begin a phase of focusing more on personal projects, Big Hit Music said in a statement that now is the perfect time for the stars to comply with the mandatory service, adding that this was “an honor” for the artists.
The oldest member of the popular K-Pop ensemble Kim Seok-jin – popularly known as Jin – will be the first to enlist, as soon as he completes the schedule for his solo release by the end of October.
Jin, 29, managed to postpone his enlistment two years ago and the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism was set to announce in December whether it would offer an extension to the artists, although such a decision would have definitely triggered a controversy.
The music label said in the statement that the rest of the BTS members will also serve their mandatory military duty as per individual schedules.
All able-bodied men must fulfill military service in South Korea that lasts between 18 to 21 months depending on the respective branch of the armed forces they join.
The announcement comes just two days after BTS held a concert in the South Korean city of Busan, which had generated more of a frenzy than usual over the possibility that it could be their last concert in a long time.
“Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” read the statement.
The nine-year-old band, consisting of RM, Jimin, Jin, V, Suga, J-Hope and Jungkook (the youngest member, aged 25), has broken several sales records and won national and international awards in an unprecedented success for a K-pop band. It is widely considered the first Asian band to become a global music sensation. EFE