K-pop roundup: More BTS members head to the military; BLACKPINK honored by King Charles

The members of BTS have been busy with solo projects lately, especially Jung Kook, who’s been ruling the charts with his project, Golden.  But those days are coming to an end, as more members of the group prepare for their mandatory military service.

According to Variety, the group’s label, Big Hit Music, announced via WeVerse that Jimin, Jung Kook, V and RM “have initiated the military enlistment process.”  The message added, “We will inform you of further updates in due course. We ask you for your continued love and support for RM, Jimin, V and Jung Kook until they complete their military service and return safely.”

All able-bodied Korean men must serve in the military for 18 to 21 months. Jin, J-Hope and Suga have all enlisted already, meaning all seven members will be out of action until at least 2025.  But at least you can watch their eight-part docuseries, BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star, starting December 20 on Disney+.

In other K-pop news, BLACKPINK has received a major honor from King Charles III, which coincides with a state visit to the U.K. by the president and first lady of South Korea. The group’s members have been made Honorary Members of the Order of the British Empire, or MBEs.

The honor at Buckingham Palace on November 22 came in recognition of their role as COP26 Advocates at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.  In that role, they starred in videos encouraging young people to engage with the conference and learn more about climate change.

Rosé‘s MBE is more than honorary, however: Because she holds dual New Zealand citizenship, she’s a member of the British Commonwealth, and is therefore eligible for what the Palace calls a “substantive” MBE.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.