October 6, 2020, 10.15 PM

"For the sake of the fairness we are not talking about exempting them from their duty, but pop musicians and artists like BTS - their careers can blossom in their twenties," Jeon, who has the backing of a dozen lawmakers, told Reuters.

"We cannot let military duty block their way at the height of their careers," he said.

The public also appears to support special treatment for the band which has just become the first South Korean group to reach No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and has a massive global fan base.

Respondents to a Sept. 21 survey by domestic news website Kuki News showed 31.3 percent believed the band should not have to do their military service.

Another 28.6 percent supported a postponement while those supporting normal military service were around 30.5 percent.

Their label, Big Hit Entertainment, declined to comment on the matter, while individual members have previously said they are willing to complete their service.

Read also: Millennial Military Officers Told to Fight Cyberspace Radicalism in Indonesia

"Military service is the natural duty and when duty calls, I will respond any time," Jin told a news conference in February.

Big Hit, which plans to list on Oct. 15, has said in its IPO prospectus that military duty is a key risk for investors.

That has not stopped investors jumping on the offering, however, with orders from retail investors totaling some 58.4 trillion won ($50.3 billion), some 607 times the value of shares on offer, lead arranger NH Investment & Securities said on Tuesday. ($1 = 1,161.9500 won) (Writer: Ju-min Park, Minwoo Park, Cynthia Kim | Editor: Edwina Gibbs)

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-bts-big-hit-military-idUKKBN26R1A6 

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