Classic, not K-pop … The fairness of BTS’s military service exception

Ministry of National Defense “Difficult to expand the system of alternative services”
However, public opinion in favor of BTS’s military service exception controversy “tightens”
National consensus and objective standards need to be established

“Proof” by BTS, Billboard’s leading album chart for 5 consecutive weeks (Photo = Yonhap News)

“In terms of fairness, it is difficult to expand the system of alternative services.”

The Ministry of National Defense has put a wedge into the BTS group’s special military service controversy for the sake of ‘fairness’.

With Jin (30, Kim Seok-jin), the first person to be notified of the enrollment, BTS members who started their individual businesses found themselves in a situation where they had to enlist one after another. . However, the question of equity between existing arts and sports and popular culture remains a controversial topic.

The current law on military service, first enacted in 1973, requires that those skilled in the arts and sports who have contributed to the promotion of culture and national prestige by placing second in international art competitions and first in competitions for art. national arts, instead of serving in the military, serve as arts and sports personnel for 34 months.However, in the case of pop culture artists, this exception to special military service does not apply.

On the 19th, Representative Kim Young-bae, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea, proposed an amendment to the Military Service Act to allow alternative military service for pop culture artists such as BTS. According to the amendment, pop culture artists who have received cultural medals, cultural medals, sports medals, sports medals, etc. They will be added to the artistic and sports staff.

The current law on military service provides that persons with particular skills in the field of arts and sport provided for by the DPR, recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, can be transferred as artistic and sports personnel. Under the Military Service Act, popular culture artists, such as BTS, cannot be transferred to arts and sports personnel, but if the amendment is approved, they will receive the Hwagwan Order of Culture in 2018 for spreading the wave Korean and the Korean language, paving the way for an alternative service.

Video of the BTS-Galaxy collaboration screened in Times Square, New York (New York = Yonhap News)

Video of the BTS-Galaxy collaboration screened in Times Square, New York (New York = Yonhap News)

A bill has been proposed to amend the law on military service, but the pros and cons of the so-called “special exception to BTS military service” are strongly opposed. The view that it makes sense for those who have marked the history of Korean pop music in the global music market to stop their activities and join the military runs counter to the view that military service is not an issue to be hastily dealt with.

Pianist Seong-Jin Seong won the 2009 Hamamatsu competition and footballer Heung-Min Son won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. However, it should be pointed out that BTS, which are gaining popularity around the world by ranking # 1 on the Billboard chart day after day, have not contributed as much to promoting national prestige as they have.

On the 14th and 15th, a survey conducted by Realmeter, a public opinion polling agency, at the request of the National Assembly Defense Committee, interviewed 1,018 men and women over the age of 18 across the country on the ” consensus to convert to alternative service for pop culture artists promoting national prestige, ‘60.9 in favor of special exceptions for military service,% and 34.3% oppose.

University student Mo Kim (25), who showed a positive stance, said: “My classmates and pianists are exempt from military service, but there is nothing wrong with BTS.” “The overall effect of inducing tourism by attracting foreigners, such as hotels, food and drink and various products, is enormous,” he said. In fact, BTS attracted 180,000 foreigners with just three concerts held before the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for 67% of the number of foreign visitors to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The economic effect they caused alone reached 1 trillion won.

BTS Group / Photos = Hankyung DB

BTS Group / Photos = Hankyung DB

Choi Gwang-ho, general secretary of the Korea Music Contents Association, an organization representing the rights and interests of record producers and distributors, mentioned “promoting the national prestige of BTS”. The message that emanates through the song also contains content such as love for humanity and carbon neutrality. BTS is having an absolute impact on the music industry as a whole, not just individuals. “

He continued: “Even if you look at the index of a music chart, BTS represents the absolute majority of foreign traffic. If the question of BTS ‘military service is not resolved, a fatal blow to the music industry will be inevitable.”

Secretary General Choi said: “In terms of the degree of contribution to the promotion of national prestige, BTS are not inferior to other performers. If BTS do not receive special military service, the same alternate service system must be modified accordingly. fair and completely. ” I hope that the amendment to the law on military service will be made as soon as possible in a reasonable way, “he said.

The most important thing is the sympathy of the public. Deputy Defense Minister Shin Beom-cheol, who appeared on MBC radio’s “Kim Jong-bae’s Focus” on 22, said: “It’s hard to see that the majority of people are in favor, with 40-60 percent in favor and Dal 30 to 50 percent against “. “In terms of fairness in fulfilling military service obligations, it is a consistent position of the Ministry of National Defense that it is difficult to expand special military service or ‘replacement service’ in the correct term.

“The biggest problem in the world of culture and art is that the standards are ambiguous,” said Lee, a 34-year-old employee who opposed the exemption from military service for pop culture artists. The problem is, I don’t know what else to use as a standard in acting and film, “he stressed.

He continued: “In order to properly judge the issue of the Military Service Act, we need to review several cases of exemption from military service. He said he thought.

The public agreed that the value of “fairness” can only be maintained when approaching popular culture and the art world from a broad and long-term perspective, rather than focusing on a case of BTS, and on the basis of one. standard to which everyone can nod their heads inside. .

Reporter Kim Soo-young from Hankyung.com [email protected]/ Reporter Lee Hyun-joo intern

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