The Korean Singers Association is set to hold a public hearing regarding idol military exemptions.
We are preparing for a public hearing to discuss military service exemption for K-Pop singers. It is not a demand for exemption but an opportunity to get a public consensus by gathering opinions from all walks of life.
– Lee Ja Yeon from the Korean Singers Association
While the government has previously declined extending exemptions to idols, this hearing will give the public a chance to let their voice be heard.
As the Korean Wave is growing exponentially, fans wonder if the achievements of K-Pop idols can warrant them exemptions from military service just like musicians and athletes.
Many point out that military service will slow down the progress of K-Pop. Popular groups will need to go on hiatus or promote with missing members for around two years each.
K-Pop idols do not deserve this, some say, as they served their country meaningfully.
You must all acknowledge how K-Pop groups such as BTS elevate our national reputation. Before, Korea was known for Kimchi, Bulgogi, or the Saemaeul Movement to the people abroad, but now, K-Pop is the most influential industry.
– Congressman Kim Byung Wook
Others disagree, however, saying that military service should be mandatory for all regardless of their achievements.
The Korean Singers Association was founded in 1957 to protect the rights of artists. Their public hearing on idol military exemptions will take place on December 18 at the Seoul National Assembly Hall.