BTS’s Jin enlists: What to know about S. Korea’s mandatory military service

BTS member Jin with his new haircut for the military. (Courtesy of Weverse)
5 min

SEOUL — The image of a usually glammed-up K-pop star shaving his head to enter the military may seem like the opening scene for a K-drama. But it became reality this week when Jin, a member of the ultra-popular K-pop group BTS, unveiled his buzz cut before heading to boot camp on Tuesday to start his mandatory service in South Korea’s army.

The country’s practice of compulsory military service has gained attention in recent months since the announcement in October that the members of BTS would fulfill their military obligations. The group announced in June that it would go on hiatus, as the possibility of conscription loomed.

Here’s what to know about South Korea’s mandatory military service.