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South Korea passes bill allowing popstars to defer military enlistment

Flags of South Korea and the United Nations

Seoul, Nov 20 (UITV/IANS)- The South Korean National Assembly's defence committee on Friday passed a bill that would allow famous male popstars to defer their mandatory military enlistment.

The passage of the bill is to revise the Military Service Act to grant an exceptional right to defer military duties of acclaimed pop artists, such as BTS, the seven-member acclaimed boyband, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The bill must now pass parliament's plenary session for final approval.

The revision was proposed by Representative Jeon Yong-gi of the ruling Democratic Party in September after BTS became the first South Korean pop group to reach No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with its song "Dynamite".

Under the current military law, BTS's eldest member Jin, born in 1992, is subject to enlistment by the end of the year.

All able-bodied South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 28 are required to serve in the military for about two years.

Military service exceptions or deferrals have been only given to international award-winning athletes and classical musicians in recognition of their roles in promoting the country's reputation overseas under the existing law.