BTS fans flood online military forum with concern for Jin

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Published: 12/19/2022 5:46:32 AM

Ever since South Korean singer Jin from superstar K-pop boy band BTS enlisted in mandatory military service earlier in December, his fans have not been able to stop worrying about him.

K-pop media outlet Allkpop reported that fans of Jin – whose real name is Kim Seok-jin – have been flooding an online military community with their concern over the 30-year-old singer's well-being, much to the frustration of other enlistees' families.

The target of fan support is the "5th division key unit family love room" message board on a South Korean online community called The Camp.

Examples of fan messages about Jin included queries about his diet, such as: "Do you often give foods that contain potatoes, garlic and fish? Because Jin is allergic to those foods, that is why I am asking if those foods are given out often."

In response, other members of the community have complained, pointing out that "Jin is not the only person who enlisted in the military" and "it's so hard to ask about my son or find information".

The Camp community administrators have now created a separate message board for Jin's fans, called "BTS's Jin A.R.M.Y.", in hopes of ringfencing Jin-related queries.

An administrator also asked that fans ease off their messages. "If there are too many letters being uploaded, the computer server will go down and other soldiers may not be able to receive their letters from their families and friends."

"Please use the (K-pop) fan community Weverse instead of sending letters on the bulletin board... I am personally asking the fans with the heart of the parents who are also worried about the new trainees," added the unnamed administrator.

Jin began his 18-month stint at a military bootcamp in the northern county of Yeongcheon, where frontline troops are deployed on guard against North Korea.

BTS had revealed in June that they were going on hiatus, citing exhaustion and pressure, as well as their plans to explore solo pursuits. But analysts said the announcement was strategically timed because of the compulsory military duty.

The band will reunite around 2025 when their seven members have completed their service.

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