BTS Discusses How the Mandatory Requirement to Serve in the Korean Army Might Impact Their Future

The K-pop singers open up about how the mandatory requirement to serve in the army will affect their group.

BTS knows there will come a time when they will have to serve in the South Korean army.

In the country, all healthy men must serve in the military for at least 18 months before turning 28. However, in December 2020, lawmakers in the country passed a bill where people in certain professions, including professional athletes and even musicians, whose contributions are deemed particularly valuable to South Korea may extend their service until the age of 30. Jin is 28 and the oldest member, followed by Suga, 28, J-Hope, 27, RM, 26, V, 25, Jimin, 25, and Jungkook, 23.

"I think the country sort of told me, ‘You’re doing this well, and we will give you a little bit more time,'" Jin says in a new interview with Rolling Stone published on Thursday. Calling his pending military service an "important duty for our country," he adds, "I feel that I will try to work as hard as I can and do the most I can until I am called."

"I have no doubt that the other members will make a good decision," he continues about the group going on without him, "because, you know, this is not something that I can tell them what to do. If BTS does spend time as a six-piece, I’ll be sad, but I’ll be watching them on the internet and cheering them on."

V says that the group hasn't discussed the details of their military service, but he's hoping "it'll work out eventually."

As for Jimin, he adds, "I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of being not a part of this group. I can’t imagine what I would do on my own... I would like to think that at the end, when I’m too old to dance, I would just like to sit onstage with the other members and sing and engage with the fans. I think that would be great, too. So I’d like to keep this going as long as I possibly can."

Elsewhere in the interview, the band also reflects on their early beginnings and how they just became closer over the years.

"We were very different people that came together. We argued a lot in the beginning, of course, but I think now, because we have spent so much time together, I began to like even the things about the other members I used to hate," Jimin expresses. "The time we spent together really made us close, like a family. No matter where I go, there is someplace that I can come back to. I’ve come to feel that way about our group."

They also touch on the recent terrifying wave of anti-Asian violence and discrimination in the U.S., with RM saying, "There’s a light side; there’s always going to be a dark side."

"The way we think is that everything that we do, and our existence itself, is contributing to the hope for leaving this xenophobia, these negative things, behind," he shares. "It’s our hope, too, that people in the minority will draw some energy and strength from our existence. Yes, there’s xenophobia, but there are also a lot of people who are very accepting. . . . The fact that we have faced success in the United States is very meaningful in and of itself."

The group, meanwhile, is set to release their second English-language single, titled "Butter," on May 21. They will perform the new track at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on May 23.

BTS describes the song as a "pure, swaggering dance-pop celebration in the retro vein of Bruno Mars, with layers of Jam and Lewis-style synths." "It’s very energetic,” RM says. "And very summery. It has a very dynamic performance."

See more on BTS in the video below.