Oldest member of South Korean boyband BTS completes military service

Jin,31, spent 18 months completing mandatory military service in the South Korean army.

A member of K-Pop group BTS has completed his military service in South Korea, after spending 18 months on duty.

Jin, 31, was handed flowers as he left a military base in Gyeonggi province.

All men in South Korea must complete military service, with almost all of those who are able-bodied required to do so before the age of 28.

BTS' Jin waves after being discharged from an army base in Yeoncheon, South Korea. Credit: AP

The rest of the band are still undertaking their mandatory service. RM, V, Jimin and Jung Kook reported for duty in December 2023, by which time Jin, J-Hope and Suga were months into their conscription.

The group plan to reunite sometime in 2025 after completing their service.

News of their hiatus has devastated their worldwide fanbase. The band are globally revered, and are estimated to contribute over $5 billion (£3.9bn) to the South Korean economy each year.

BTS at the 2022 Grammy Awards. Credit: AP

All seven members have asked fans not to visit the military bases, though hundreds have defied their wishes.

South Korea grants special exemptions from service for athletes and classical artists who excel in certain kinds of international competitions tied to national prestige. But such privileges haven’t been extended to the K-pop singers.

In 2022, a debate raged as to whether the band should be given an exemption, before their management confirmed later in the year they would be expected to complete service.

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