South Korea is known for many incredible things. Some of these include breathtaking cities, delicious food, gorgeous landscapes, fair laws, jaw-dropping k-dramas, and k-pop sensations. Presently, the most highly recognized k-pop band is BTS. Their influence has taken on the world as fans worldwide are inspired by them every day.

To keep true to their fans and continue with their career, BTS is applying for military exemption from South Korea’s compulsory military service for men. Thus, with BTS applying to defer military service, Real Research — the online survey application, launched a survey on BTS military exemption.


  • 47.24% say their country of residence has mandatory military service.
  • 28.70% say BTS members should get military exemption.
  • 59.91% are aware that men in South Korea must serve in their military.

68.68% Are Aware of K-Pop Boy Band BTS

Only around 30% do not seem to know about BTS. In detail, 32.32% are BTS fans and 36.36% have simply heard of BTS. On the matter of mandatory military service, 47.24% say their country of residence has made it compulsory. In contrast, the rest say it is optional. 

To follow up, the survey asks if mandatory military service is only for the male population. On this, 38.43% confirm it is only mandatory for men. Meanwhile, 35.04% say both men and women are to perform military service and 26.52% only have voluntary military services. 

defer military service
Figure 1: Responses to BTS’ appeal to defer military service

It is a known fact that South Korea implements mandatory military service for men. Still, only 59.91% are aware of this fact. To carry on, the survey mentions BTS applying to defer military service. Thoughts on the fairness of BTS military exemption are as follows.

Firstly, 34.48% say it is fair, 20.95% say it is unfair, and 23.61% believe BTS should have the option to serve the country in other ways. This would be an interesting take as South Korea military service exemptions would also help simplify the matter of all kpop stars military service.

Respondents Debate Fairness of BTS Military Exemption 

In detail, those who said it would be fair for BTS to serve the military after age 30, have the following reasons. 35.35% say BTS makes a positive and powerful influence on South Korea to the world. Adding on, 17.46% say athletes who promote national prestige are exempt from military duties, this should apply to the cultural industry as well.

Likewise, 9.71% say the mandatory military system needs to be revised to accommodate new social situations. Lastly, 3.15% say the nation will take a national blow if BTS stopped actively engaging with their music.   

BTS military exemption
Figure 2: Reasons for why BTS military exemption would be fair

Similarly, those who said it would be unfair for BTS to serve the military after age 30, have the following reasons. To start off, 31.58% say it is a duty that all Korean men must fulfill so BTS cannot have special favors. Then 17.90% say there should be no BTS military exemption as manpower is already down due to the country’s low birth rate.

In addition, 9.90% say it is hard to set a standard for fair and reasonable military service benefits. Lastly, 2.69% say special BTS military exemption could give other Korean youngers a sense of psychological deprivation and 1.83% say there is no guarantee that BTS’s positive influence for South Korea will last.

24.10% Say South Korea’s Mandatory Military Service is ‘Commendable’ 

In fact, the majority say that all countries should follow suit. In order, 18.81% say South Korea should make it mandatory for all genders, not only men while 15.93% say not everyone may be comfortable with joining the army. Likewise, 11.11% say they think it’s nice that all men must participate no matter their status. Lastly, 3.67% say some should have the right to say no. 

South Korea’s military service
Figure 3: Final take on BTS’ duty to South Korea’s military service

In conclusion, the survey asks respondents’ final thoughts on military service deferment or military exemption for BTS members. In reply, 36.34% say military deferment is the way to go while 28.70% chose military exemption. Specifically, 34.96% say members who receive notice of military service should join as it is.


Survey TitlePublic Opinion on BTS Applying To Defer Military Service
DurationDecember 08 – December 15, 2021
Number of Participants50,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.