South Korea might conduct a public survey to assist decide whether or not to grant exemptions to obligatory navy service to members of the Ok-pop boyband BTS, officers stated Wednesday.
The difficulty of energetic navy service for the band’s seven members has been a hot-button matter in South Korea as a result of its oldest member, Jin, faces enlistment in December, when he turns 30.
Protection Minister Lee Jong-sup informed lawmakers that he ordered officers to implement a survey rapidly. He stated his ministry may also look into varied different components akin to BTS’s financial affect, the significance of navy service and general nationwide curiosity.
After his feedback created a stir, his ministry clarified in a press release that Lee ordered officers to look at whether or not such a survey is required, slightly than launch it instantly.
It stated officers had been requested to review particulars together with which company can be answerable for a survey, how lengthy would it not take and who precisely can be surveyed. The assertion stated if the survey is carried out, will probably be achieved by a 3rd group, not by the ministry or associated authorities, to make sure equity.
The ministry stated the outcomes can be solely one of many many components figuring out BTS members’ navy standing.
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By legislation, all able-bodied males in South Korea should serve 18-21 months within the navy underneath a conscription system established to cope with threats from rival North Korea. However the nation provides exemption to athletes, classical and conventional musicians, and ballet and different dancers who win high locations in sure competitions as a result of they’re thought-about to have enhanced nationwide status.
These exempted are launched from the navy after taking three weeks of primary coaching. However they’re required to carry out 544 hours of volunteer work and serve of their respective skilled fields for 34 months.
Some politicians and others have referred to as for increasing the scope of exemptions to incorporate Ok-pop stars akin to BTS as a result of they’ve elevated South Korea’s worldwide picture considerably as nicely.
A non-public survey earlier this yr confirmed about 60% of respondents supported navy exemption for BTS members. However one other non-public survey in 2020 confirmed 46% backed exemptions whereas 48% opposed them.
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