BTS, the biggest act in K-pop and one of the world’s hottest contemporary music acts, will be forced into hiatus through 2024 and much of 2025 after it was confirmed Wednesday that four band members — RM, Jimin, V and Jung Kook — will imminently enlist in the Korean military.
The news was announced by Big Hit Music via social media. “We would like to inform our fans that RM, Jimin, V and Jung Kook have initiated the military enlistment process. The artists are preparing to fulfil their military service duties. We will inform you of further updates in due course. We ask you for your continued love and support for RM, Jimin, V and Jung Kook until they complete their military service and return safely. Our company will spare no effort in providing support for our artists. Thank you.”
All able-bodied men are required to serve in the military for 18 to 21 months. Local media in Korea reported that the four were allowed to postpone their military service until the end of the year when they turn 30, under a conscription law revised in 2020, but have chosen to accelerate the process and will likely be called up later this year or early in 2024. The band hopes to be reunited in 2025.
Since Jin’s move nearly a year ago, the band has already been winding down towards hiatus and band members expanding their solo careers. All seven members of the globe-trotting band have entered the Billboard charts on their own.
Nevertheless, the seven-member band recently renewed its contracts with Big Hit Music in anticipation of renewed group activity after the enforced hiatus. “BigHit Music will take into consideration the military service status of some of the members and plans to sign with each BTS member sequentially,” a statement read. “The members who are currently serving in the military will have completed their military duty by the start of the renewed exclusive contract period in 2025,” parent company Hybe Corp. said in September.