K-pop star BTS member J-Hope starts mandatory military service

By Reuters   April 17, 2023 | 06:05 pm PT
K-pop star BTS member J-Hope starts mandatory military service
J-Hope performs in Times Square during the first New Year's Eve event without restrictions since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 31, 2022. Photo by Reuters
J-Hope, a member of Grammy-nominated K-pop boy band BTS, will begin his mandatory military service in South Korea on Tuesday, local media reported, the second member of the group to do so.

"I'll be back later," the singer whose real name is Jung Ho-seok said on Monday in a post on fan platform Weverse, alongside a picture of his shaved head. More than 10,000 comments from fans wished his safe return after completing his military duties.

Spokespeople for HYBE, which owns the band's agency Bighit Music, declined to confirm the details of his enlistment.

J-Hope, 29, is the second member of the popular septet to enlist following Jin, the oldest, who joined the military in December.

All able-bodied men in South Korea between the ages of 18 and 28 must serve in the military for 18 to 21 months.

The military enlistment of BTS members has drawn attention from not just fans but also politicians in South Korea. Some lawmakers floated the idea of granting the hit group an exemption from mandatory military service to allow them to continue to perform instead.

However, the band's agency last year said that all members planned to complete military duty by 2025.

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