BTS member Suga is set to begin his mandatory military service in South Korea by end of week, announced Big Hit Entertainment on Sunday.
“Suga will be beginning his required service on September 22,” Big Hit Music wrote in a statement on the fan community platform Weverse. “There will not be any official events taking place on the day he starts his service or on the day he enters the training camp. We kindly ask fans to refrain from visiting Suga at his workplace during the period of his service. Please convey your warm regards and encouragement in your hearts only.”
“We ask for your continued love and support for Suga until he completes his service and returns. Our company will also strive to provide all the support he needs during this time,” the statement continued.
Suga also went live on Weverse on Sunday to talk about his enlistment. According to a fan translation he told ARMY the military service is nothing to cry about, and that they will be reunited in 2025. He also joked that his short haircut is making it harder for people to recognize him.
Suga is the third member to enlist for military service, following Jin and J-Hope. As it stands now, all seven members of BTS will complete their mandatory service over the next couple of years, with the group’s hiatus expected to last through 2025.
In South Korea, all able-bodied men between 18 and 28 must serve approximately two years in the military. Back in 2019, the members of BTS were given special permission to put their service off for a few years until the age of 30. In 2020, the Korean Parliament passed a new law that would allow other South Koreans who “excel in popular culture and art” to similarly defer their service by a few years. Lawmakers are reportedly now considering an amendment that would truncate the two years of mandatory service into three weeks of military training.
This April, Suga officially released his debut solo album, D-Day. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he spoke about how he came to latch onto the album’s key theme of “liberation.” “In the past, I knew what that theme meant, and I figured out my thoughts were already resolved in the process of recording it,” he said. “There was this K-drama called My Liberation Notes [from 2022] that did really well. I had started working on the album three years ago — and then I noticed that it really matched thematically with the drama. I felt and hoped that people were looking for more stories, more discussion on this topic of ‘liberation.’”
He added: “Once I asked myself about what my definition of liberation is, I started unpacking that idea of liberation more [through my songs]. I think viewers will think it’s very fun and entertaining—considering the other kinds of promotions I’ve done. I have confidence. In the video, I’m just living very freely.”