South Korea Passes 'BTS Law'; Artistes Who Win Govt Awards Can Defer Military Service

The new law was passed just a day before BTS Jin was due for his military enlistment.

After long discussions, public debate and online arguments, South Korea has now passed a new law that allows artistes who have received recognition from the government to postpone their military enlistment. The law is also dubbed as "BTS Law" as it was initiated after BTS won not only government but also international recognition with its recent single Dynamite.

Accordingly, now artistes who have a recommendation by the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism can postpone their military service till they turn 30. Till now 28 years was the deadline for a male in South Korea to enlist for compulsory military service.

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Bill Passed With Whopping Majority

However, this rule is only applicable to those artistes who have made significant achievements in enhancing the nation's image in the world map. Out of the 268 South Korean Assembly members, 258 supported the bill whereas only two members opposed it. As many as 16 members were absent during the voting.

The bill was also known as "BTS military service amendment" and it looks like though there was an initial disagreement, BTS winning the Grammy nomination played an important role in passing the law. It is an important law for BTS too as the Kpop band member Jin was to enlist in military this December.

BTS Jin Can Postpone Military Enlistment

Jin is 28 and according to the existing law, he had to enlist before the end of this year. Now, he has got an extension of two more years and the top band of seven members can continue with their performances. BTS had received recognition from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in 2018 when it became the first Kpop band to receive an Order of Cultural Merit. Thus, Jin can apply for deferral and other members also can follow the suit when they turn 28.

The issue was first discussed in September when government stated that they were considering amendment of law on military enlistment to help artists who have made South Korea proud internationally. There was a huge opposition to this as it was mistaken as artists being ruled out of military service. In October, Military Manpower Administration issued a statement and said that amendment did not mean they would exempt any band or an individual from military enlistment but were considering the possibility of allowing them to postpone it.

The deferral system is already in place for athletes who make a name in the international level competitions including the athletes who have won medals in the Olympics or Asian Games.

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