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MANILA, Philippines – BTS members RM and V have started their mandatory military service on Monday, December 11.
According to a report by Yonhap News Agency, the two will receive their basic military training at the boot camp in Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province for five weeks.
The report also noted that the five other BTS members were present during RM and V’s enlistment. Even members who had already enlisted — Jin, j-hope, and Suga — showed support for the two members.
On Instagram, Jin also shared a photo with RM and V, saying: “Don’t get hurt and come back safely, my babies.”
In another post, he posed with member j-hope. Both are serving under active duty while Suga enlisted as a social service worker.
Meanwhile, the two remaining members, Jimin and Jungkook, are reported to enlist on Tuesday, December 12. The group’s agency, BigHit Music, earlier asked fans to not visit the camping sites as there will be no official events on the day of enlistment.
Prior to their enlistment, both RM and V also penned letters to their fans through the fan community platform Weverse.
RM, the group’s leader, shared that while he feels “scared and fearful,” it’s their fans’ love that pushes him to go through this uncertain time.
“Even though there may be times when I feel lonely and melancholy, I think I already feel replete inside with that love. I hope that I, too, can be that kind of presence for you,” he told fans.
The rapper continued: “This goodbye is just a goodbye for a little while! Let’s meet in the future. I love you a lot.”
As for V, he wrote: “After the long period of 18 months, I will return in really good health, so ARMY, take good care of your health.” He also hinted that he has some treats for his fans, saying that he “prepared various stuff” that will be released during this period.
“As we always have, let’s make precious memories after I return. I will really miss you, and I really love you, so please wait for me until then,” he added.
In South Korea, all able-bodied Korean men are mandated by law to serve in the military for at least 18 months. Enlistment can be postponed until the age of 28, but a bill passed in 2020 has allowed South Koreans who “excel in popular culture and art” to delay their enlistment until they are 30 years old.
While some BTS members are younger than 28-30 years old, the group and company have chosen to fast-track their enlistment waiting time by going in batches. Given this, BTS is expected to reunite as a full group by 2025. – Rappler.com