Seoul, South Korea
K-pop superstar Jin will begin his mandatory military service next month, a source with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed Friday, after the BTS singer appealed to the supergroup’s devoted fans to stay away from his South Korean army training center .
The source said the 29-year-old star, the oldest member of BTS, will enlist on Dec. 13 at Yeoncheon Army Base in northern Gyeonggi province.
Military service is mandatory in South Korea, where nearly all able-bodied males must serve 18 months in the military by the time they are 28 years old.
South Korea’s parliament passed a bill in 2020 that would allow pop stars—namely, those who “excel in popular culture and the arts”—to defer military service until age 30.
Jin’s duty begins with five weeks of basic training before being assigned to a unit, based on standard practices.
The move was widely anticipated.
Last month, BTS’ record label said all seven members of the group planned to do military service and that Jin — who turns 30 on Dec. 4 — would be the first to enlist.
On Thursday, Jin posted a message on fan community app Weverse, urging fans not to visit the military training center to catch a glimpse of him amid reports of his impending enlistment. He did not deny the reports in the post.
“Reports have come out against my will, but our ARMYs (BTS fans) are not allowed to come to the training center,” he wrote. “It can be dangerous because the place will be full with many people except me coming. ARMY, I love you.
Often compared to The Beatles, BTS even broke one of the English rock band’s records with three Billboard No. 1 albums in one year.
Their devoted fan base calls themselves the “BTS Army,” propelling their music and defending them on social media in 2019 when the group was barred from Grammy nominations. They are nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2023.
With their military service coming up, BTS said in June that it would be pressing hiatus to pursue solo projects. According to their record label, the group is expected to reunite in 2025.