BTS’ Jin Celebrates End of Military Service by Hugging 1,000 Fans

A three-hour hugging marathon in Seoul, South Korea, is set to be among the first public engagements of Jin, the oldest member of K-pop supergroup BTS, after being discharged on Wednesday from his 18 months of mandatory military service.

Some 1,000 fans of the pop star were chosen in a raffle. They will meet him on Thursday at this year’s BTS FESTA, an annual celebration of the band’s debut anniversary, to be held at the Seoul Sports Complex.

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Thursday’s mass hug is to be followed by another event, with 3,000 others. There, Jin is reported to be willing to perform songs on request and share messages with fans. These will also be live-streamed on the Hybe-backed Weverse fan platform.

Jin was seen passing through the main gate of the 5th Army Infantry Division in Yeoncheon, 61 kilometers north of Seoul, at about 9 a.m., the Yonhap news agency reports. During his service, he served as an assistant drill instructor at the army recruit training center there.

Before Jin departed the Yeoncheon base, other band members, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook, while still serving their military call-up, put on a celebratory saxophone performance of the band’s single “Dynamite.” Suga was not present.

Yonhap also reports that the BTS members who are currently serving have applied for leave to reunite in Seoul for a private celebration. It is not clear whether permission was granted.

Jin is the first of BTS’ seven members to complete their military duty. J-Hope is expected to be next to be discharged in October. BTS is expected to return to work as a septet in 2025, after all of the members finish their military service. Jin is also expected to start work on a solo album.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men are required to serve between 18 and 21 months in the military, though there has been controversy over its application and the limited exceptions to the rule.

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