Nearing his 30th birthday, J-Hope has attended an army camp in Wongju, south of Seoul, where he is expected to begin five weeks of basic training. Local news agencies reported that a small fan base, apparently outnumbered by the assembled journalists, waited outside the camp to wish him well. Their numbers were reported to have decreased due to bad weather conditions.
Earlier, J-Hope shared a couple of photos on the Weverse fandom platform showing words of encouragement and his newly cut hair. He wrote, “I love you all. ARMY, I’ll be back safely.” In this sense, ‘Army’ is a reference to BTS’ legion of fans rather than Korean military service.
All healthy men in Korea are required to complete approximately two years of mandatory military service and enlist before reaching the age of 30. Exceptions exist for athletes and some classical musicians, but these are controversial and have not been extended to K-pop. stars.
J-Hope reported asked for a delaybut in February it was confirmed that his application was withdrawn.
The oldest BTS member, Jin, wore the uniform in December last year, effectively kicking off a hiatus that could last until 2025 for the seven-member group.
Even before that, a few of the BTS band members had ventured into solo projects, with J-Hope among the first. I published his first solo album “Jack in the Box”In 2022, he received a music documentary detailing the album’s creation process and also showing J-Hope preparing for his Lollapalooza concert in August.
Last month, music label Big Hit Music released a new J-Hope The music video and single “on the street”. The track has been described as a lo-fi hip-hop track with a “hopeful message” and “an easy-to-listen melody and warm lyrics” written in part by J-Hope.