BTS star Jin has started his mandatory military service.
The 30-year-old singer – the K-pop group’s oldest member – was due to begin his training on Tuesday at a base close to the border with North Korea.
The star, whose full name is Kim Seok-jin, shared a photo of himself over the weekend with a new buzzcut, and quipped: “Ha ha ha. It’s cuter than I had expected.”
And on Tuesday, he added: “It’s time for a curtain call.”
The younger members of the band will follow him with their own enlistment in the coming years.
Jin will first spend five weeks at the boot camp in Yeoncheon, and then be moved to a unit as he completes his 18-month assignment.
His move comes after the group announced in October they would be carrying out their military duties.
In South Korea, all able-bodied men aged 18 to 30 are required to serve with the military for at least a year-and-a-half, which is meant to maintain the nation’s preparations for potential conflict with North Korea.
The law does grant some exceptions to athletes, classic and traditional musicians, as well as ballet and other dancers – providing they have won top prizes in specific competitions and are seen as enhancing national prestige.
However, the exemption doesn’t apply to other entertainers, including K-pop stars, despite their global success.
Meanwhile, BTS will reunite around 2025 once Jin’s six bandmates – RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook – have completed their service.
The announcement was made in October on the band’s social media pages in the wake of their free concert to support South Korea’s World Expo bid in Busan.
The statement read: “BIG HIT MUSIC is proud to announce today that the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfil their military service.
“After the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavours, it’s the perfect time and the members of BTS are honoured to serve.”