His fans will have to get used to it: Jin will use his full name Kim Seok-jin from now on. The eldest of the phenomenal group BTS will begin his military service in South Korea on Tuesday, leaving the K-pop industry in doubt about the future of the boy band.
First South Korean group to dominate the US and UK charts, nominated for the Grammy Awards multiple times, strong of a global fan community… BTS has generated billions of dollars in revenue since its debut in 2013. The October announcement of Jin’s enlistment in the military had cemented the separation, at least temporarily, from the septet with more than 30 billion plays on Spotify.
Jin soon in a unit near the border with North Korea
In South Korea, military service is compulsory for all able-bodied males. With a minimum term of 18 months, all members of BTS will submit to it, after years of debate over a possible exemption.
Jin will attend his classes for five weeks before joining a unit “on the frontline”, meaning near the border with North Korea. He joins the military in a context of highly tense inter-Korean relations following a record-breaking series of weapons tests by Pyongyang in recent months.
BTS’s label, Big Hit Music, has asked Jin’s fans not to attend the singer’s induction ceremony, which is reserved for families, on Tuesday. Fans of the boy band, dubbed “BTS ARMY”, have been in shock since the revelation of the group’s breakup in June. It will be able to reform around 2025, when all members have served in the military.
Exemptions are granted to some top athletes, such as Olympic medalists, or to classical musicians. But not for pop stars. BTS had already benefited from a revision of the conscription law, which reduced the conscription age for certain performers from 28 to 30. Jin turned 30 on December 4.
According to specialists, the separation from the boy band was therefore considered according to this obligation. But there is doubt about the future of the K-pop flagship: despite its incredible popularity, will it survive this break? Indeed, in this ultra-competitive industry, several male icons have struggled to revive their careers after serving in the military.
While waiting for the answer, Jin said goodbye to thousands of tearful fans at a concert with Coldplay in Buenos Aires in October. On Monday, he posted a photo showing off his new military haircut to South Korean social network WeVerse, with the caption, “It’s cuter than I imagined!” “.