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The Role of K-pop in the Economy and South Korean Law 1


Annyeong, yeorobun!

South Korea, who doesn’t know this country? The Land of Ginseng excels in all sectors, from education, industry, and culture to entertainment. This country attracts enthusiasts from all walks of life around the world.

South Korea is a developed country located at the eastern end of the Asian continent, known as the Land of Ginseng or Hallyu Korea. Of course, this country is synonymous with its widespread cultural sector, as seen in Indonesia. Tteokbokki, Jajangmyeon, Bibimbap, Samgyetang, etc., are easily found throughout Indonesia. Besides food, many vacation spots like cafes, photo studios, and even events are held using Korean concepts. Hanbok is the traditional attire of South Korea, generally simple in motif and bright in color, and is also popular among young people in Indonesia. Although Hanbok is conventional attire, its simple impression and bright colors make it popular today.

Not only does it excel in the cultural sector, which is spread worldwide, but South Korea also excels in the music or entertainment industry. K-pop is a crucial element in the music industry in South Korea, and the popularity of groups like EXO, BTS, Blackpink, and NCT makes K-pop a global cultural phenomenon. K-pop comebacks with music videos on YouTube often garner viewers, frequently breaking records. Tours they conduct in various countries always sell out, sometimes within seconds, like EXO concert tickets selling out online in 0.2 seconds.

K-pop attracts global interest, and Korean dramas (Drakor) garner widespread international interest. Creativity in storytelling depicting current life situations, trending storylines, and compelling characters portrayed by strong actors or artists, along with high-quality production, have led to dramas achieving significant success internationally, such as “Descendants of the Sun,” “Goblin,” and “Crash Landing on You.”

With the popularity of K-pop and K-Drama, what does South Korea feel about this popularity? Although South Korea does not have oil mines, it earned a substantial income from K-pop. In 2017, the K-pop music industry contributed $5 billion or 70 trillion (at an exchange rate of Rp. 14,000). Not only that, but the K-pop group BTS also contributed $3.6 billion or Rp. 50.4 trillion (at an exchange rate of Rp. 14,000) by penetrating the American market for five consecutive days. BTS contributes 50 trillion annually, increasing South Korea’s income by 0.3%. That’s why BTS is considered a national asset.

Apart from being famous for its entertainment sector, South Korea is also known for its mandatory military service (Wamil). Compulsory military service in South Korea has become obligatory for young men aged 18-35 to serve in the military. This also applies to BTS, as they must serve in the military for two years. Will BTS’s military service affect South Korea’s economy? Will designating BTS as a national asset exempt them from military service? Will South Korea change its laws by not requiring BTS to serve in the military to maintain its national income? Let’s find out together.


The Constitution of the Republic of South Korea forms the basis of South Korea’s military service laws, which have been in place since July 17, 1948, under Article 39: “All citizens have to defend the country based on the conditions specified by the Law.” Also, under the “Military Service Act,” Article 3 states: “Every male citizen of the Republic of Korea faithfully performs military service as determined by the constitution of the Republic of Korea and this law. Women may only perform active or reserve military service voluntarily.” South Korean citizens who refuse to perform military service may face two years in prison and receive hate speech sanctions from the public, as South Korean society is very sensitive to those who refuse military service.

Military service is compulsory for anyone, including artists or actors, as long as they remain South Korean citizens. No exemptions exist for anyone, even if they have a certain social status. Of course, because military service is based on the laws of the Republic of Korea and is applied to everyone, it is impossible to change.

With the influx of new K-pop idols starting to rival BTS’s popularity, which does not disrupt or reduce South Korea’s income, the country should maintain its laws. Although this may be the case, the K-pop industry remains the most significant contributor to the country’s income, not only from BTS but also from EXO, Blackpink, and NCT, who will continue to make the K-pop industry famous.

The Role of K-pop in the Economy and South Korean Law 1

Mengenal Lebih Dalam Korea Selatan

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