South Korea’s Cytown Metaverse is holding a virtual poll and discussion on the topic of giving the members of K-pop megagroup BTS a special exemption from the country’s mandatory military service.

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Fast facts

  • Cytown opened a public poll on the topic in Cy-agora, the virtual forum on the metaverse platform on Wednesday. The poll will last until Sept. 22.
  • 52.78% of participants were in favor of giving the special exemption to BTS, while 47.22% were against the idea as of 1 p.m. in South Korea on Wednesday.
  • Cytown is a metaverse operated by South Korean software developer Hancom and local social media service Cyworld Z that opened in July this year.
  • South Korea requires able-bodied male citizens between the age of 18 and 28 to serve in its military, with the length of service ranging from 18 to 21 months. 
  • In 2020, South Korea passed a bill that allowed pop culture artists recommended by the cultural ministry to defer their service until the age of 30. The seven members of BTS are aged between 25 to 29 as of 2022.
  • Prominent athletes, classical and traditional artists and dancers who have made achievements in competitions recognized by the government such as the Olympics are given special exemption in which they may take part in alternative service.
  • The debate in South Korea’s political sector surrounding the military duty of the members of BTS is an ongoing one.

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