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 called on the supergroup’s devoted fans to stay away from his South Korean army training center.
The source said the 29-year-old star, the oldest member of BTS, will enter service on December 13 at Yeoncheon Army Base in North Gyeonggi Province.
Military service is compulsory in South Korea, where almost all able-bodied men must serve in the military for 18 months at the age of 28.
South Korea’s parliament passed a bill in 2020 allowing pop stars – namely those who “exceed in popular culture and art” – to defer 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’s record label said all seven members of the group planned to undertake military service 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 the military training center to catch a glimpse of him amid reports of his impending enlistment. He did not deny the reports in the post.
“Reports have been released against my will, but our ARMYs (BTS fans) should not come to the training center,” he wrote. “It could be dangerous because the place will be crowded with a lot of people besides me coming. ARMY, I love you.
BTS have often been compared to the Beatles, even breaking one of the English rock band’s records with three Billboard No. 1 albums in a single year.
Their devoted fan base calls itself the ‘BTS Army’, powering their music and coming to their defense on social media in 2019 when the group was kicked out of Grammy nominations. They were nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2023.
With their military service looming, BTS said in June that they would be taking a break to pursue solo projects. The group is expected to reunite again in 2025, according to their record company.