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After hinting at the possibility of being in a ‘front-line’ position earlier last week, BTS’ oldest member Jin has confirmed his mandatory military service date – December 13. Here’s all about it.

The subject of BTS’ military service has sparked a flurry of speculations across social media and news cycles alike for years now. On October 17, Hybe put them all to rest, releasing an official statement by the boys – in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese – which stated that they’d be honoured to serve their country. As the oldest, Kim Seok-Jin – singer, songwriter, and record producer – was slated to be the first to report for duty. Earlier today, the star – who’s fondly known as worldwide handsome – took to WeVerse to confirm the date, requesting fans to refrain from being present at the training centre for safety reasons.

BTS Jin’s military service begins a few days after his 30th birthday

As per a report in The Hindustan Times, Jin’s message – translated – read, “There’s an article out there that I hadn’t planned on being published.. in any case, ARMYs, I ask that you please refrain from coming to the training centre. There will be many other people there and it could get dangerous with a big crowd. Army I love you.” The report in question might be one released by South Korean newspaper Aju Business Daily, which cited unnamed military authorities as a source.

Earlier this year, Busan’s mayor – a report by The Independent notes – requested South Korea’s president to exclude the wildly popular group from service so they could host the World Expo in 2030. There were talks of doing the same considering the idol group significantly contributes to the country’s economy. In fact, a report by NPR estimates the total contribution to be about US$ 5 billion (Rs 40,836 crores approx.) per year or “around half a percent of the country’s entire economy.”

However, the country’s defence minister Suh Wook stated that exemption would be difficult considering aspects of fairness. The South Korean Law dictates that all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 28 serve in the military for at least 18 months. Those exempted or serving shorter periods are Asian Games and Olympic athletes and medal winners as well as classical musicians and dancers who have won big at certain competitions.

However, BTS has always maintained that they were keen on serving. Recently HYBE reported that Jin would revoke his request to delay his enlistment and follow all necessary procedures laid out. A report by Reuters noted that he will be deployed to a unit after five weeks of training at the boot camp. The other six members – Jungkook, Jimin, V, Suga, RM, and J-Hope – will follow suit over the next few years. The group plans to reunite in 2025, after they’ve all completed their respective services.

All images: Courtesy Jin, BTS