2022 was a busy year for K-pop! From the announcement of BTS’ military enlistment in the South Korean army, to members leaving their groups and a very sad breakup between one of the only (public) K-pop couples (R.I.P. HyunA and Dawn‘s romance), keep reading for the biggest stories to hit K-pop in 2022.

BTS first announced their hiatus in favor of solo careers on June 14, 2022. The group’s members RMJinSUGAJ-HopeJiminV and Jung Kook revealed the news during the BTS FIESTA livestream. Since then, J-Hope, Jin and RM have released their own solo projects.

On top of that, it was announced on October 17 that the group will complete mandatory military service with plans to come back together as a group “around 2025,” after all seven members complete their service.

Big Hit announced that BTS plans to come back together as a group “around 2025,” after all seven members complete their service. “Since the creation of BTS over ten years ago, the band has risen to international success, broken records, and catapulted K-Pop into the global stratosphere,” Big Hit’s statement read.  “BIGHIT MUSIC has focused to the milestone moment when it would be possible to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men to serve with their countrymen, and that’s now.”

In South Korea, it is mandatory for all able-bodied men born in the country to complete two years of military service prior to turning 28 years old, due to ongoing threats from North Korea. However, there are exemptions available for certain athletes and performing artists, especially those working in classical and traditional music.

When Jin turned 28 in 2020, the government offered him a tw0-year delay in entering the army in recognition of BTS’s efforts in “enhancing Korea’s international image.” He was one of the the first K-pop stars to be offered an exemption.

If all goes to plan, BTS members will most likely embark in the military from oldest to youngest: starting with Jin, then Suga, RM, J-Hope, Jimin, Taehyung and finally, Jung Kook. Jin began his service on December 13, 2022.

BTS isn’t the only group that had some big news this year! Scroll through the gallery below to see all of the biggest stories to hit K-pop in 2022.

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