In South Korea, all able-bodied males who are 18 and older must do their military service unless they have a valid reason for exemption. Those who joined the army should serve for about 18 months. J-Hope is the second BTS member to fulfill compulsory military service, followed by Jin, the eldest member who completed his basic training in January 2023.
"All the letters and support from you guys greatly helped me to undergo training," the artist said after completing five weeks of training at the boot camp. J-Hope added that he would try hard to present his best during the remaining days.
Prior to his enlistment in April 2023, the singer released his solo single titled "on the street" in collaboration with American J. Cole. The two artists showcased exceptional rapping skills in their own language. The song, released on March 3, gained 38 million views on YouTube through its music video. The single also ranked 60th on Billboard Hot 100 in mid-March.
Evading military service has been a sensitive issue for celebrities in South Korea which is still technically at war with North Korea. Steve Yoo, a Korean-born American singer, had gained popularity for his sporty image and explosive dancing style until he acquired U.S. citizenship in 2002. He has been banned from entering South Korea for widespread criticism that he changed nationality to evade military conscription.
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