South Korea city Seoul, South Korea Government BTS reports South Korea city Seoul, South Korea

BTS hiatus sparks debate on activism, South Korean military exemptions

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SEOUL, South Korea - The surprise announcement by BTS last week that they were taking a break to focus on members’ solo projects stunned their global fanbase, shaking their label's stock price and leaving many questions about the K-pop supergroup’s future.HYBE, the company behind the band, denied the group was taking a hiatus — a word used in a translation of the group’s emotional dinnertime video announcement.

In the days since, band members have remained active on social media, continuing the stream of posts, photos and assurances that the band wasn’t breaking up.Despite the immediate impacts — HYBE’s stock initially dropped more than 25% and has yet to fully recover — several factors may still affect BTS’ future.

One is looming military enlistment for older BTS members, as well as how engaged the group and their devoted fans, known as ARMY, will continue to be in social issues.In 2020, at the height of BTS’ success, the South Korean government revised the country’s military law that requires able-bodied South Korean men to perform approximately two years of military service.

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