Under the revision of the Military Service Act, a way for outstanding artists in the field of pop culture and arts to delay their enlistment in the military will be provided. But as the enforcement ordinance is reportedly considering limiting their qualifications to “Merit awardees who received recommendations from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism,” the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) released their skeptical response, saying that there will be no other groups/artists except BTS to benefit from the bill.
Currently, to be recommended as a medal winner, at least 15 years of activities in the field are required. In reality, K-pop singers start their activities in their mid to late teens, so they are in their 30s or older when they meet the 15-year requirement. In all, the new revision won’t be benefiting any other groups, except for BTS.
Even the chart backs up their statement. The average age of the singers who won the Merit is 67.7 years old, which is years and years after their military services. Moreover, any future generation K-pop idols will need to achieve feats even greater than BTS in order to be considered for the Presidential Order of Cultural Merit at such a young age.
Choi Kwang Ho, secretary-general of the KMCA, said, “We appreciate the fact that the country recognized the role K-pop played in promotion and enchanting the nation’s image, thus prompting the institution of helpful laws even during these tough times.” He then added, “But I would like to ask what would be the meaning of this law if it’s virtually impossible for anyone else to be eligible? If this new bill passes with the current standards, then no K-pop artists will be able to take advantage of this law, not even the 2nd generation BTS. If this new law aims to promote the future of the overall K-pop industry, and not just allow BTS to delay their enlistment, then the revisions are necessary as it has gone astray from the original goal.”