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Four BTS members to begin South Korean military service mid-December

Four BTS members to begin South Korean military service mid-December
RM, V, Jimin, and Jungkook of BTS perform onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

SEOUL, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The remaining four members of K-pop supergroup BTS will begin their military service in mid-December, joining the three who are already serving, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, citing music industry sources.

The seven-member group is on temporary break while members carry out South Korea’s mandatory military service.

South Korea has one of the world’s largest active armies to defend against North Korea, with all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 28 required to serve between 18 and 21 months.

There has, however, been public debate over whether BTS members should be given exemptions considering their contributions to the lucrative K-pop industry.

The group’s main rapper and leader RM and vocalist V will enlist on Dec. 11, while Jimin and Jung Kook will follow suit the next day, Yonhap reported.

After initial training, the four will serve as active-duty army soldiers for 18 months, according to another report in entertainment media outlet Star News.

BTS’ management agency HYBE, which has said the four had begun the process of enlistment, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier this month, Jung Kook announced in a blog post he would serve in the military in December.

Jin, 30, the group’s oldest member, is set to be discharged from military service in June.

(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim and Ju-min ParkEditing by Ed Davies and Peter Graff)

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