BTS’ Members Will Serve In South Korea’s Military

BTS fans will have to wait until around 2025 to see the full seven-member band together on stage, as the world’s biggest band is headed to the South Korean military. But the silver lining for fans may be that the first member to be enlisted, Jin is releasing his solo material in the coming weeks.

BTS label BigHit Music, a subsidiary of HYBE, announced Monday (Oct. 17) that each of the BTS members – Jin, RM, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, V and Jungkook – is going to face mandatory national service, though timing will vary by member.

“Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government. Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans,” BigHit Music said in the statement.

It added that the group will reconvene around 2025 after their respective drafts are over.

All able-bodied male South Korean citizens must serve in the armed forces for at least 18 months, though the length of service may vary. Draft begins in the year they turn 18 but the men may postpone it until age 28.

Jin is turning 30 in December and is the oldest member. Jungkook, the youngest, is 25 years old.

For some observers of BTS, writing has been on the wall since June when the band announced that they were taking a break from group activities to focus on individual projects. In July, J-Hope was the first to release solo material with the album Jack in the Box, which featured singles “MORE.” and “Arson.”

On stage at a special free concert on Saturday, where the band performed 19 tracks in support of the World Expo 2030 bid for Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, Jin teased his solo project for the first time. “I got the opportunity to work with someone I like, so a single will come out soon,” said Jin.

Separately, J-Hope addressed the future of the band, telling fans that BTS was “in a stage where we need your trust.”

BTS has smashed many records since forming a decade ago. In the United States, the band has led the Billboard Hot 100 with six titles, and ruled the Billboard 200 chart on six occasions.

See the official statement below.

Lars Brandle