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BTS star Jin finishes South Korean military service

By AFP - Jun 13,2024 - Last updated at Jun 13,2024

BTS superstar Jin (centre) is greeted by bandmates RM (right) and Jimin after being discharged from his mandatory military service (AFP photo)

SEOUL — K-pop megastar Jin from BTS was discharged from his South Korean military service on Wednesday, AFP reporters saw, the first member of the band to complete the mandatory duty, freeing him up to fully resume musical activities.

The seven members of the world’s most popular boy band have been performing their service — which South Korea requires of all men under 30, due to tensions with the nuclear-armed North — with the K-pop juggernaut on a self-described “hiatus” since 2022.

Jin emerged from the gates of his army base in South Korea’s northern Yeoncheon county where he was met by fellow bandmates J-hope, V, RM, Jungkook and Jimin.

RM played the saxophone, belting out the hook of BTS’s mega-hit “Dynamite” while the bandmates hugged and presented Jin with a giant bouquet of flowers.

Fans had hung colourful banners outside the base, with one reading: “Seok-jin you did so well for the last 548 days. We’ll stand by you with our unwavering love,” referring to the star by his full first name.

A giant balloon flew in front with the message: “Worldwide handsome Seok-jin! Congratulations on your discharge.”

Yeoncheon county put up its own banner that read: “BTS Jin, The last year and a half was a joy for us. Yeoncheon will not forget you!”

Fans had been urged not to attend, and there were only a couple of admirers present early Wednesday outside the base.

BTS’s agency HYBE announced Jin’s discharge on Weverse — a superfan social media platform — earlier this week.

“We are excited to bring you the news of Jin’s upcoming military discharge,” it said.

It also “strongly advised” fans to “refrain from the visiting site” citing safety concerts, and added that there would be no special events planned.

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