Seoul, South Korea
K-pop superstar Jin will begin his mandatory military service next month, a source with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed on Friday, after the BTS singer appealed to the supergroup’s devoted fans to stay away from his South Korean army training center.
A source said the 29-year-old star, the oldest member of BTS, will enter the service on December 13 at the Yeoncheon Army Base in northern Gyeonggi Province.
Military service is compulsory in South Korea, where almost all able-bodied men under the age of 28 must serve 18 months in the army.
South Korea’s parliament passed a law in 2020 that allows pop stars — specifically those who “excel in popular culture and art” — to defer their service until age 30.
Jin’s service will begin with a five-week basic training course before being assigned to a unit based on standard practice.
The move was widely expected.
Last month, BTS’ label said that all seven members of the group planned to enlist in the military, and Jin – who turns 30 on December 4 – would be the first to enlist.
On Thursday, Jin posted a message on fan community app Weverse urging fans not to visit a military training center to catch a glimpse of him amid reports of his impending enlistment. He did not deny the news in the post.
“The news broke against my will, but our ARMYs (BTS fans) shouldn’t go to the training center,” he wrote. “It could be dangerous because the place will be crowded with many people besides me who will come. ARMY, I love you.”
BTS is often compared to The Beatles and even broke one of the English rock band’s records with three Billboard No. 1 albums in a single year.
Their devoted fan base calls themselves the “BTS Army,” fueling their music and coming to their defense on social media in 2019 when the group was shut out of Grammy nominations. In 2023, they were nominated for three Grammy Awards.
With military service approaching, BTS announced in June that they would be taking a hiatus to pursue solo projects. The group is expected to reunite in 2025, according to their record label.