Busan mayor suggests BTS replace mandatory military service with public relations work

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The prospect of South Korea’s mandatory military service has been looming over BTS for quite some time now.  Despite a 2018 law allowing certain K-pop musicians to postpone their military service until the age of 30, the group’s oldest member, Jin, will hit that milestone in December. But now, a Korean government official has proposed another way.

The mayor of the South Korean city of Busan recently appointed BTS as PR ambassadors for promoting that city’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo. Now, Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports that the mayor has asked the office of the president of South Korea to allow BTS to do “alternative military service.”

The mayor’s idea is to have the group’s work as Busan’s PR ambassadors stand in for their military service. He said, “If BTS is allowed alternative military service, its members will be assigned with national duties as heavy as military service and will serve the nation in their unique capacity.”

It’s not clear if that proposal will be approved. According to Billboard, the members of BTS have said that they’re willing to serve in the military, and the South Korean parliament has considered a bill shortening K-pop stars’ military service from two years to three weeks.

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