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Jin of BTS is done with his military service and wants to give fans 1,000 hugs

Eva Hartman, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

After 18 months out of the spotlight to complete South Korea's mandatory military service, Jin of BTS is eager to get back on stage and connect with fans again.

One thousand lucky BTS fans will gather Thursday in Seoul to hug their idol — literally hug him — in a welcome-back event organized by the K-pop group's manager. That might seem like an awful lot of work for Jin, who was discharged Wednesday, but the BBC reports he wanted to increase the number to 3,000.

"Thank you for waiting for me, I love you. I will try to express my feelings tomorrow," said the singer, whose full name is Kim Seok-jin.

Jin was drafted into the military in December 2022 and served at the Yeoncheon army base in northern Gyeonggi province, beginning with five weeks of basic training that included rifle shooting, grenade throwing and marching. He was later promoted to sergeant.

BTS has been on hiatus since 2023 to allow its seven members to complete South Korea's military service requirement and pursue individual projects. Jin was the first to enlist, followed by J-Hope in April 2023, Suga in September 2023 and V, RM, Jung Kook and Jimin in December 2023.

 

Jin was greeted by his bandmates at the gates of the military facility after his discharge. They had taken a temporary leave from their posts for a reunion and could be seen hugging and smiling.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men ages 18 to 28 are required to serve at least 18 months in the military or social service. The law was updated in 2020 to allow K-pop stars to delay their draft until age 30, but they are not given the special exemption from service awarded to athletes and classical artists.

BTS' official X account posted a photo Wednesday of the singers gathered on a couch around Jin, who was still in his army fatigues, in front of a balloon sign that read "Jin is back."

"I'm home!," he wrote.


©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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