The oldest member of the K-pop supergroup BTS, Jin, started his mandatory military service on Tuesday amidst high security at a South Korean army training facility.
After entering the Yeoncheon army post in northern Gyeonggi province, where security personnel and the media outnumbered the few hundred admirers who had flocked to see the celebrity – despite his prior requests for them to keep away – Jin, 30, will spend 18 months in uniform.
Just before 2:00 p.m., six black vans reached the base in a motorcade that was thought to be carrying Jin and his security team.
Jin and the other recruits were welcomed to the base, which is located less than 10 miles (16 kilometres) from the Demilitarized Zone separating South Korea from North Korea, by numerous banners along the road.
Having the same full name as the celebrity recruit, Kim Seok-jin, 20, from Daejon, was one of the recruits joining the 5th Infantry Division on Tuesday.
Kim displayed his new buzz cut, the same style Jin had gotten a few days before, while waiting outside a restaurant across from the base with his parents. He also said that he was anxious to enter the establishment.
He said, “But I’m delighted too to walk in with Jin,” and expressed his hope that they would end up being friends.
Lee Hey-Kyoung, a 40-year-old Seoul resident who travelled to the base Tuesday morning using a combination of the subway, bus, and cab, was one of the BTS supporters outside the base on Tuesday.
“I’m thinking of him suffering in the military throughout this bitterly cold winter. I came here for that reason,” Lee remarked.
Mandy Lee, who travelled from Hong Kong to see Jin off, was nearby.
She wished him well and stated, “We will wait for him the next 18 months and hope he stays safe and healthy.
In South Korea, nearly all able-bodied men are required to complete 18 months of military duty by the time they turn 28 years old.
2020 saw the passage of a law by South Korea’s parliament permitting pop stars—specifically, those who “excel in popular culture and art”—to postpone military service until the age of 30.
All seven of BTS’s members were slated to serve in the military, according to the group’s record label, which made the announcement in October. BIGHIT Music predicts that BTS will reunite as a group around 2025.
According to regular procedure, Jin’s service will start with a five-week basic training course before being assigned to a unit.
Military drills of Jin
According to Park Si-woo, 23, who completed training at the base in 2021 and spoke to CNN, Jin will probably live in a barracks with roughly 40 other recruits who will all be sharing bunk beds.
According to Park, recruits would get up at 6:30 in the morning to start their daily schedule, which includes physical exercises as well as combat and weapons training.
Since the recruits are required to give up their cell phones, Jin will initially communicate with supporters through letters that they submit online and have printed out before handing them to him. Jin would have limited access to his cellphone over the weekend, according to military sources.
The food is something that Jin and the other recruits would enjoy. We received a lot of goodies during the session, including drinks, butter waffle snacks, and beef jerky, stated Park.
According to the South Korean army website, Jin will be one of around 560,000 army personnel after he is fully incorporated into the country’s forces.
Since their 2013 debut, BTS have established themselves as global superstars, scoring No. 1 songs in more than 100 countries, amassing more than 46 million Twitter followers, and being named Time magazine’s Entertainer of the Year in 2020.
They have also grown to be a significant force in the South Korean economy; according to a 2019 research, BTS generated $4.9 billion in revenue, or for 0.3% of the nation’s GDP.
BTS, according to its detractors, is a unique phenomenon.
According to music writer Yoonha Kim, BTS has a special place in the scene. “I believe that is all there is to say. In actuality, no such group has ever existed—not only in the K-pop sector, but throughout the entirety of Korean music history—and it will be challenging for another to do so in the future.