The 30-year-old has begun five weeks of training at a bootcamp in Yeon-cheon, near the border with North Korea, before he’ll reportedly be sent to a military unit on the frontline to carry out his eighteen-month assignment.
Under South Korean law, all able-bodied male citizens must serve a military term of 18-21 months due to the fact the country is still technically at war with their hostile neighbours in the north.
There had been some speculation as to whether members of BTS would indeed carry out their military duties, especially given some exemptions can apply for athletes, musicians and dancers who have won in competitions that boost the global standing of the country.
Tottenham Hotspur striker, Son Heung-min, for instance, was excused from serving the longer 21-month service in 2020 after helping the country achieve Gold at the Asian Games. He served a minimum three-week service instead.
But following yet another major concert in October, viewed by more than 49 million people, BTS and their management announced all seven members of the group would in fact serve their time carrying out military duties.
The group had taken a temporary break earlier this year in order to explore solo projects, with j-hope’s Jack in the Box being the first such album to come from this.
Those involved and with more than a vested interest, including their label Big Hit Music, have been keen to stress the group will reunite “around 2025”, once all seven members of the group have carried out military duties.
Until then, it doesn’t seem too difficult for the first member of BTS – at least not in these early stages. Jin shared a photo to his Weverse account saying the mandatory buzzcut “looks cuter than I expected”.