Shropshire Star

Suga from BTS begins mandatory military duty in South Korea

The 30-year-old is the group’s third member to start carrying out their military duties.

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Suga from BTS

Suga from the K-pop supergroup BTS has begun fulfilling his mandatory military duty as a social service agent – an alternative form of military service in the country.

The 30-year-old is the group’s third member to start carrying out their military duties.

The two others, Jin and J-Hope, are already performing active service at army bases.

“I’ll faithfully serve and come back … Please stay healthy and let’s meet all again in 2025!” Suga wrote in a message posted on the online fan platform Weverse.

BTS’s management agency, Big Hit Music, said Suga later began commuting to a workplace designated under the country’s alternative military service system.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men must serve in the army, navy or air force for 18-21 months under a conscription system established due to threats from rival North Korea.

Individuals with physical and mental issues can instead carry out their duties at non-military facilities such as welfare centres, community service centres and post offices for 21 months.

Local media reported Suga’s alternative service is likely related to a shoulder surgery he had in 2020.

Active duty soldiers are required to begin their service with five weeks of basic military training at boot camps.

Those performing alternative service are subject to three weeks of basic military training and can choose when to take it, according to the Military Manpower Administration.

It is not known in which facility Suga has started serving.

In a statement earlier this week, Big Hit Music asked Suga fans to refrain from visiting the singer at his workplace during his service.

“Please convey your warm regards and encouragement in your hearts only,” it said.

“We ask for your continued love and support for (Suga) until he completes his service and returns.”

Last year, intense public debate erupted over whether BTS members would receive special exemptions to their compulsory military duties.

But the group’s management agency eventually said all seven members would fulfil their obligations.

South Korean law grants exemptions to athletes, classical and traditional musicians and ballet and other dancers if they are deemed to have enhanced the country’s prestige.

K-pop singers are not eligible for the special dispensation.

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