The world’s biggest boy band, BTS, will abandon their fandom “army” to join the South Korean military for national service.
This news ends years of dispute over whether K-pop stars might be exempted from military duties.
All able-bodied South Korean men aged 18-28 must serve for about two years.
South Korea includes compulsory military service mainly because it is still technically at war with its nuclear-armed neighbor, North Korea.
The BTS announced they would take a break, with some members pursuing individual projects.
“Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” said their management company.
The band had previously won a deferral in 2020 when South Korea’s parliament passed a bill allowing the biggest K-pop stars to delay their duties until 30.
“There would be a way to give them a chance to practice and perform together,” said Lee Jong-sup, South Korea’s defense minister, discussing the band’s prospects where he indicated that the group could still perform while enlisted.