Something we didn’t mention in the video was WHY Korean men have to do compulsory military service but I think most people are pretty aware of North Korea. South Korea and North Korea are still technically at war because a formal peace treaty was never signed. With such an unpredictable and unstable threat right across the border, South Korea needs a very large military force. If there wasn’t compulsory service they wouldn’t have the manpower. The issue of ending compulsory service does comes up, but with provocations every now and then from North Korea it’s very hard to even just scale it back a bit. However, the Western media always blows up the North Korea issue, so don’t think North Korea is going to launch huge attacks or anything like that.
It is interesting how people’s perceptions and views are formed by the country they grow up in. Many people understand the need for the military but there are others from countries that have no military and have a very negative view of the military that are critical of anyone who does military service. I think it’s very unfair to judge those that have to do compulsory service and it’s best to have a balanced view. Korean men that do their service don’t necessarily agree with all decisions made by the military, it doesn’t mean they agree with war, but it’s their national duty.
You get very used to the military presence in South Korea. Everywhere there are men in uniform and military vehicles and get a bunch of Korean guys together and inevitably the topic of military service will come up. Men that don’t do their service become excluded from these conversations, can find it hard to connect to other guys and can even not be hired for jobs because they didn’t do it. When the majority of the male population have given up 2 years of their life for their country, it’s important for them to see that Kpop idols are doing it too.
So what we said in the video was just our guess about Big Bang – that at least some members will likely enlist after their comeback (“comeback” in the Kpop sense of the word).