BTS’ enlistment sends ‘positive signal’ for military service: military manpower chief

Military Manpower Administration Commissioner Lee Ki-sik speaks during an interview with Yonhap News Agency at the agency's office in western Seoul, May 2. Yonhap

Members of K-pop juggernaut BTS carrying out their mandatory military service has sent a “positive signal” for men to faithfully fulfill their service, the head of the military manpower agency said, raising the possibility of abolishing exemptions given to top athletes and musicians.Lee Ki-sik, commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration (MMA), made the remark in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Thursday, noting shifting public perception on the country’s compulsory service since the enlistment of the group’s members.All seven members of BTS are currently carrying out their service, as all able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve in the military for at least 18 months in a country facing constant military threats from North Korea.”In the eyes of the public and in terms of fairness, BTS carrying out their military service and faring well is extremely positive,” he said at the MMA’s office in western Seoul.

Lee pointed to the public’s enthusiastic reaction to recent pictures of BTS member V in full counterterrorism gear after being accepted to serve in a special duty unit late last year.”Such appearances send a very positive signal to the people,” he said. “It compares with draft dodgers.”The remarks come as South Korea plans to review overhauling a supplementary military system, which has been widely perceived as providing exemption from conscription for elite athletes and classical musicians.Lee said an intergovernmental task force will launch later this month to review the system in its entirety, which also includes alternative services for doctors and other technical experts, and come up with measures to improve it by the end of this year.The country has recently debated over the system that allows elite athletes and musicians to just undergo a three-week basic military training program for their service if they win Olympic medals, the gold at the Asian Games or win top prizes at prestigious classical music competitions.The system was introduced in 1973 with the intent of promoting national prestige, but South Korea’s rise as an economic and cultural powerhouse over the decades has led to growing questions over its fairness, such as whether BTS — the first South Korean group to top the Billboard 200 — 카지노사이트킹 is more deserving of the benefit.

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