BTS' J-Hope writes heartfelt letter to fans to commemorate birthday

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 19, 2024, 13:45 Updated : February 19, 2024, 13:45
Courtesy of Big Hit
[Courtesy of Big Hit]

SEOUL -- BTS member Jeong Ho-seok, known by his stage name J-Hope, has written a heartfelt letter to fans awaiting the discharge of the 30-year-old dancer from the military. Like any other ordinary South Korean man, Jeong is serving his country as a conscripted soldier.

J-Hope began his mandatory military service in April 2023. He was the second BTS member to enlist after Jin, who joined the Army in December 2022. Due to South Korea's technical state of war with North Korea, all able-bodied South Korean men aged 18 and older must serve their country for at least 18 months as soldiers or public agents at public facilities.

Despite none of the BTS members expressing their opinions about conscription, many young men dream of being exempted from their mandatory service. Over the past two decades, dozens of celebrities, including rapper Psy, have faced fines, imprisonment, or been recalled into service after discharge for attempting to cheat on the military physical examination or manipulate their military service records.

Jeong, currently serving as a drill instructor at an Army boot camp, shared a post on the social media platform Weverse on February 18, stating: "This is my first and last birthday as a soldier. Nowadays, I feel that fans' love and interest are larger than ever." The BTS dancer expressed gratitude that his birthday wasn't lonely, thanks to ARMY, the international fan club of BTS.

J-Hope also released a teaser video for "HOPE ON THE STREET," an extension of his experimental project initiated in 2015, before his enlistment. According to Big Hit, the agency representing the seven-member band, Jeong had invested considerable effort into the dance-focused project before beginning his military service.
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