The members of superstar K-Pop group BTS will soon begin a mandatory stint as part of the South Korean military, which will result in a years-long hiatus.
“Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” the group’s label, Big Hit Music, said. “Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October,” it continued. “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.”
“With the release of their first anthology album earlier this year, it opened the path to allow the members to take some time to explore individual projects,” the statement continued. “As part of the HYBE family, we support and encourage our artists and are beyond proud that they will each now have time to explore their unique interests and do their duty by being of service to the country they call home. After the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavors, it’s the perfect time and the members of BTS are honored to serve.”
The aforementioned free Busan concert over the weekend drew an estimated 50 million online viewers, according to HYBE. During it, Jin announced that his forthcoming solo single features “someone that I’d always really liked.”
In South Korea, military service is required of all healthy males under age 30. Occasional exceptions have been made for athletes and classical musicians, but not for pop stars like the members of BTS.