14:46 GMT18 January 2021
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    The so-called 'BTS Military Service Act' passed the National Assembly’s standing committee on November 20. The current Military Service Law decrees that every Korean male must enlist between the ages of 18 and 28, a challenge to the ongoing careers of several K-pop idols.

    The National Assembly of South Korea revised current military service laws to allow globally-acclaimed male K-pop stars to defer their defense duties, according to the Yonhap news agency.

    The Assembly’s plenary session agreed to grant pop culture artists the right to postpone military service. The discussion was brought up in September when one of the most profitable South Korean groups, BTS, became the first South Korean artist to top the US Billboard chart, with the single “Dynamite”. This achievement was praised nationally in South Korea and saw the government acknowledge the cultural  and financial contribution that K-pop has made to the country's image on the world stage. 

    The new enactment has not yet been supplemented by a presidential decree. When it comes into force, artists will be able to defer their enlistment, until they turn 30. Before the law was revised, only Olympic athletes and classical or traditional musicians could be exempted from military service.

    Asia, South Korea, military service, BTS
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