South Korea Passes Law Allowing Artists Who Receive Government Recognition To Postpone Military Service
South Korea’s National Assembly has passed a law that gives accomplished artists a chance to defer their military enlistment.
On December 1, the National Assembly voted in favor of a bill that allows artists who receive the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism for having made significant achievements in enhancing the nation’s image to postpone their mandatory military service until they turn 30 years old (by international reckoning).
Out of 268 National Assembly members, 253 voted for the bill, 2 voted against it, and 13 abstained.
The bill was dubbed the “BTS military service amendment” in light of its implications for BTS, whose eldest member Jin would typically have been required to enlist in the near future (as 28 years old is ordinarily the maximum age until which military service can be delayed). However, in October, the Military Manpower Administration stated that while they would not exempt artists like BTS from their military service, they were open to the possibility of deferral.
Considering that BTS became the first idol group ever to receive an Order of Cultural Merit from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in 2018, it appears likely that the members will be able to successfully apply for a postponement of their mandatory service.