BTS’s label Big Hit Music have again told the group’s fans that they must not try to visit the training centre where band member Jin will begin his stint in the South Korean military this month.
Under South Korean law, all able-bodied men must serve in the country’s military at some point between the ages of eighteen and 28. There has been much discussion in recent years, of course, as to whether that rule should also apply to the members of BTS, given that doing so will require pausing a K-pop phenomenon that generates huge value for the country’s economy.
A rule change did allow Jin – as the oldest BTS member, who turned 30 this weekend – to postpone his enlistment into the army, but ultimately it was decided that the K-pop stars would not be able to avoid military service altogether. Following that decision, it was announced last month that Jin had enlisted and would begin his military training this month.
That has led to fears that BTS fans will try to visit and access the training centre where Jin will be based. Last month the musician himself urged fans not to do so. Addressing his fanbase – generally referred to as ‘the army’, somewhat confusingly under the current circumstances – Jin stated: “Dear Army, please refrain from coming to the training centre. We don’t want a huge crowd as it could get dangerous for my beautiful fans. I love you Army”.
Earlier today, Big Hit again stressed that fans should stay away from the army facility where Jin will be based. According to NME, the label said in a statement issued via fan community app Weverse: “In order to prevent any issues that might occur from crowding, we ask fans to please refrain from visiting the site. Instead, we ask you to keep your words of support and farewell in your hearts”.
Just in case anyone was thinking there might be some kind of ceremony they could watch when Jin formally moves into the training centre, there isn’t. Well, there kind of is. But not for fans to watch. “Please note that we will not be holding any kind of official event on the day of his recruitment”, the label added, stressing that while there is an entrance ceremony for new army recruits, that “is a time to be observed by military personnel and their families only”.
Also, if you were thinking of setting up or booking a place on some kind of BTS branded tour that includes a visit to the army centre, please don’t. “Our company will take necessary action against any attempts at commercial activity making unauthorised use of such intellectual property”, Big Hit concluded.