BTS fans may have to wait longer than expected for the band’s reunion. The K-pop group’s hiatus has continued as its members pursue individual projects and fulfill mandatory military service requirements.
BigHit Music had previously stated that the break would not be too long, and BTS would reunite “as a group again around 2025.” However, at a recent press conference, the chairman of BigHit Music’s parent company, HYBE, dampened expectations of the band’s comeback happening on that timeline. Chairman Bang Si-hyuk clarified that it was the company’s hope for the group to reunite in two years, but their contracts and military service commitments might make it difficult to achieve.
The South Korean military service is mandatory for all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 28. The length of service varies depending on the branch of the military, but it is typically around 18-21 months. Men can apply for deferments or exemptions under certain circumstances, such as if they are the sole breadwinner for their family or have a medical condition that prevents them from serving. However, these exemptions are rare and typically require extensive documentation and proof. Failure to complete military service can result in fines or imprisonment. The mandatory military service is seen as a duty and obligation to the country, and many Koreans view it as an important rite of passage.
Only one member of the group, Jin, has begun the 21-month mandatory military enlistment required for men in South Korea. While Jin has been keeping fans updated on his progress, the rest of the band has continued to pursue their solo projects, with J-Hope also reported to have initiated the enlistment process. Bang Si-hyuk shared that the enlistment schedules of each member are private information, and the company will only disclose the dates once their schedules are confirmed.
The chairman also spoke briefly about BTS’s contract renewal, which is currently uncertain. He explained that they still have time left until the contract ends, and they will discuss it with the members within that time. Bang Si-hyuk added that the company would speak about the contract renewal after the discussion ends.
Despite the lack of certainty, BTS fans remain optimistic about the band’s future. RM, one of the group’s members, spoke to EFE last week and expressed his confidence in BTS’s future. He believes that the group will reunite after their military service ends and look for new synergies between them to enter a second phase. However, RM acknowledged that “nothing lasts forever.”
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