AceShowbiz - A leading South Korean politician has urged officials to allow the members of BTS (Bangtan Boys) to skip mandatory military service.
Males aged between 18 and 28 are legally required to serve in the military for two years, as part of the country's defence policy against neighbours North Korea, and the boy band's eldest member, 27-year-old Jin, has been told he must sign up by the end of 2021.
But devotees and some politicians in South Korea insist the bandmates have already done enough for their country, and Noh Woong-rae, a senior member of the ruling Democratic Party, says, "Not everyone has to take up a rifle to serve the country."
Meanwhile, politician Jeon Yong-gi has proposed a revision of the law, which would allow K-Pop stars to delay their service until the age of 30.
"For the sake of the fairness we are not talking about exempting them from their duty, but pop musicians and artists like BTS - their careers can blossom in their twenties," he said. "We cannot let military duty block their way at the height of their careers."
A survey carried out by by Kuki News suggested almost a third of South Koreans felt BTS should not be required to carry out military service, while another third suggested their service should be delayed and a further third supported normal service for the band.
At a press conference earlier this month, Jin, real name Kim Seok-jin, insisted he will honour his military service bond if necessary, calling it his "natural duty".