Bang Si-hyuk, the founder of BigHit and current chairman of HYBE opened up about BTS‘ return as a group. BigHit announced last year that members of the iconic band will start their military service and return as a ‘group again around 2025 following their service commitment’.
As per the latest reports, Si-hyuk made an appearance at the Kwanhun Forum and asked people not to mark 2025 as ‘the target year’. Additionally, he mentioned that he could not guarantee a specific year for BTS‘ return as both the group and HYBE would require sufficient time to prepare for their comeback post-military service.
According to Soompi, Si-hyuk said, “We shared that both [HYBE] and the members hope to be able to resume [group activities] around 2025, not ‘they will resume’ in 2025. On that note, I hope you will not think of this as the target year. But [HYBE] and BTS will try our best. The issue of the military is not something that gets resolved as planned, and since we also need time to prepare for their return once they come back [from the military], I want to say that we cannot continue with a ‘promised year.’ But this is not just false hope as both parties have agreed to really actively do our best.”
Bang Si Hyuk speaks on whether BTS should be exempt from military service
The chairman also further addressed the prolonged discussion regarding whether or not BTS should receive exemptions from their mandatory military service. Bang said, “When looking at an individual’s career and national assets, I can’t say that [enlistment] is without loss. I believe it’s the truth that the continuity of one’s career or the value of national assets gets cut off or begins declining. However, it is a completely different matter for an individual to happily accept their military duty as a citizen of a country. The country has made this decision and for nearly three years, [BTS] has continued to say of this matter, ‘we will go once we are called.”
BigHit’s statement on Weverse last year read, “Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government. Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans. Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment.”
In South Korea, all men between the ages of 18 and 28 are obligated to serve in military for two years. Kim Seok-jin, also known as Jin, enlisted in the army in December last year, and J-Hope initiated the procedure for his military service earlier this year.