K-pop star Suga begins process to serve military duty

August 9, 2023 - 10:59 AM
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K-pop boy band BTS member Suga attends Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 in Seoul, South Korea, July 26, 2023. (Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji)

K-pop star Suga, songwriter and rapper for the boy band supergroup BTS, has begun the enlistment process for mandatory military service, the band’s label said on Monday, making him the third band member to go off to perform the military duty.

“We would like to inform our fans that SUGA has initiated the military enlistment process by applying for the termination of his enlistment postponement,” Big Hit Music said in a statement.

All able-bodied South Korean men ages 18-28 must serve in the military for about two years.

Under a 2019 revision of the law, globally recognized K-pop stars were allowed to put off their service until the age of 30. Parliament is now debating a new amendment that would allow K-pop stars to do just three weeks of military training.

In April, J-Hope, another member of Grammy-nominated BTS, began his mandatory military service, following Jin, the oldest, who joined the military in December.

“We ask you for your continued love and support for SUGA until he completes his military service and safely returns,” the label said.

Suga went on his first solo world tour earlier this year, running his YouTube talk show.

—Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Alex Richardson