BTS Addresses Mandatory Military Service in South Korea Interfering with Music
By Scott Baumgartner
Someday soon, BTS will have to press pause on music in order to serve their country.
The Korean seven-piece pop group recently sat down for an interview with CBS This Morning, in which they discussed the mandatory military service they will inevitably have to complete and how they are coping with its imminent arrival.
"As a Korean, it's natural," Jin, one of the group's four vocalists, said. "And, someday, when duty calls we'll be ready to respond and do our best."
When correspondent Seth Doane followed up by asking the members if they worry about splitting up for their service, Jung Kook, the group's lead singer responded, "I don't want to think about it at this point. We have something really good going."
RM, one of BTS's rappers, chimed in: "That's the answer. We just enjoy the ride, live in the moment, and that's all we can do."
The article also implies that the group, which ranges in age from 21 to 26, have already delayed the mandatory service, which all male South Koreans must complete. The conscription's length varies by the branch of the military they join. For instance, active duty in the marines or army is 21 months. However, those enlisted in the air force serve 24 months.
During the interview, the group also chatted about how they learned English, which has helped them transcend K-pop and find a global audience with their music.
"I love hip hop," said RM stated. "I love the pop music. And I love the 'Friends.' Yeah, the TV show. My mom bought me the full series. I watched it, like, several times. I just want to speak and to listen and to understand musicians in America. I just want to say, 'Thank you, Mom!'"
Several of BTS's members also discussed the early days of living together, a move that not everyone loved initially but which has played a pivotal role in their ability to gel as a group.