Entertainment Music BTS' J-Hope Begins Process to Join South Korean Military After Legally Deferring for Years The singer is the second member of the Korean pop group to enlist in the mandatory military service By Tracey Harrington McCoy Tracey Harrington McCoy Instagram Twitter Tracey Harrington McCoy is a celebrity news writer at PEOPLE Digital. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 27, 2023 10:58 AM Share Tweet Pin Email J-Hope of BTS. Photo: Jacopo Raule/GC BTS member j-hope is enlisting in the South Korean military for mandatory service after legally deferring for several years. "We would like to inform our fans that j-hope has initiated the military enlistment process by applying for the termination of his enlistment postponement," the group's label, BIGHIT MUSIC, said in the statement on Sunday. "We ask for your continued love and support for j-hope until he completes his military service and safely returns," they continued. Almost all able-bodied men in Korea are required to serve in the army for at least 18 months by the time they are 28, according to CNN. In some special circumstances, men are able to defer until they're older, which several members of BTS have done. J-Hope of BTS. Roy Rochlin/Getty BTS Signs Five Projects with Disney Including Docuseries, Concert Film, Reality Show and More J-Hope is the second member of the hit band to enlist in mandatory military service. Two months ago, Jin, the group's oldest member, announced that he was enlisting. Big Hit has previously announced that all seven members of BTS will do their mandatory military service, CNN reported. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. BTS. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic BTS' Jin Opens Up About Building Confidence on His Own as Band Takes Break: 'I Can Handle This!' Last year, BTS said in a statement shared with PEOPLE that members of the band intended to release both group and solo projects as they embarked on their "new chapter" together. The statement was made after RM, Jungkook, j-hope, Jin, V, Jimin and Suga appeared to announce a temporary hiatus during the group's annual FESTA dinner in June. "The group will remain active as a team while taking individual journey to further achieve personal growth," the release said from HYBE, the agency that represents BTS, said, adding that the members of the two-time Grammy-nominated group "will allow themselves to express their individuality through the release of solo albums and collaborations with other artists." RELATED VIDEO: BTS Drops a New Album, Proof, as They Celebrate Nine Years as Band At the time, HYBE's parent company, BIGHIT MUSIC, added, "BTS now starts a new chapter with new solo projects as well as group projects. Members will take this time to achieve personal growth through various new activities, and we expect it to further strengthen the foundation for the group's long-run as a team. BIGHIT MUSIC will actively support the artists." A spokesperson for the group also told Pitchfork, "To be clear, they are not on hiatus but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats."