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Jimin’s ‘Closer Than This’ Is a Love Letter to the BTS Army

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A week after BTS’s Jimin began his military service, the K-pop superstar delivered one more message to the Army.

In “Closer Than This,” Jimin, 28, reflected on his time as part of arguably the biggest band on Earth. “Do you also remember? / The moment we first met?” he sings in Korean in the song, which was released on Friday, December 22. “We were so shy and awkward back then / Now that I look back / We’ve come this far in just a blink of an eye.”

Jimin also sings about how “seven equals one, right, our hearts still beat as one,” referring to his bandmates, RM, V, Suga, Jin, Jung Kook and J-Hope. “Close your eyes for just a second, I’ll be standing in front of you,” Jimin continues, assuring fans that BTS isn’t going anywhere.” “When I knock on your door with our hearts united as one / Open it for me with your bright smile / When the paused time begins to run again / Baby, I’ll come back to you.”

Ahead of the song’s release, BigHit Music — the band’s record label and management company — said on Weverse that the song was “a heartfelt fan song that encapsulates Jimin’s genuine feelings for Army.” As the year comes to a close, BigHit hopes that the song “with its lyrics conveying Jimin’s love and affection for his fans” will bring listeners “hope and warmth.”

That sentiment was amplified with the music video, as it was full of highlights from BTS’ first decade as a group. Formatted like pictures in a photo album, the clip was a stroll down memory lane for any member of Army.

BTS is on hold as the band members fulfill their mandatory South Korean military service. Jimin and Jung Kook, 26, began their duties on December 11, while RM, 29, and V, 27, began their service the day before. They will each serve between 18 and 21 months before they can return to performing.

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Jin, 31, J-Hope, 29, and Suga, 30, have already reported to duty, with the latter serving as a social service agent (an alternative form of military service). While athletes, dancers and classical/traditional musicians are sometimes exempt from the compulsory service if they’re deemed to enhance the country’s prestige and reputation, K-pop singers are not spared.

The group has plans to reform in 2025 after all seven members have completed their military service.

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