South Korean legislature divided over possible BTS military service exemption

South Korea’s National Assembly, the East Asian country’s legislature, is reportedly divided over possibly exempting K-pop boyband BTS from mandatory military service.

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This is according to a new report from Yonhap News Agency, which quoted remarks from Boo Seung-chan, the spokesperson for Korea’s defense ministry, who noted that the military is considering “situational variables” over the -called BTS Law.

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The BTS Law bill, if passed, would allow the septet to continue their work as K-pop idols for 34 months under an alternative program, in place of them undergoing the regular 18 to 22 months of mandatory military service served by South Korean males, per The Korea Herald.

“Regarding the revision bill, the defense ministry cannot help but consider situational variables. The one that we face this very moment is the situation caused by the shrinking population,” Boo said during a press briefing, via Yonhap News Agency.

“Secondly, there is also a need for social consensus. In other words, this is about a fair military service,” he added, stressing the need to be “prudent” about the situation.

In its reports, Yonhap and The Korea Herald noted that a subcommittee of the National Assembly’s defense committee had “failed to make any progress” during discussions earlier today. The latter outlet also described the debate over the pros and cons of the law as “intense”.

In other BTS news, member V is set to contribute a song to the soundtrack of upcoming K-drama Our Beloved Summer. The as-yet-unnamed track will be produced by director Nam Hye-seung, who has previously worked on the original soundtracks of hits such as Goblin (2016), It’s Okay To Not Be Okay (2020) and Crash Landing On You (2019).