Jin’s Heartfelt Return to BTS and ARMY: A Memorable Fan Meeting

By  | 

“I want to assure you that I will always be by your side. Thank you for waiting so patiently that our time apart feels insignificant. I will always be there for the ‘ARMY’ (BTS fandom) and become your guiding light.”

These were the words of Jin from BTS during the fan meeting ‘Seokjin on June 13, 2024, the weather is clear,’ held at the Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium in Songpa-gu, Seoul, on the afternoon of the 13th. Jin expressed his overwhelming emotions about returning to civilian life, just a day after his discharge from the military, and asked the ARMY for their continued support.

Describing the stage as his ‘home,’ Jin shared how much he had missed his fans, saying, “I missed you all so much. I’ve finally returned to the home I longed for. I was so nervous that I couldn’t sing well, my hands were shaking, and I was a mess. I was discharged from the military yesterday.”

Jin, the eldest member of BTS, had completed his 18-month military service the day before, becoming the first member to experience the joy of discharge. He celebrated this milestone by embracing 1,000 fans and holding a fan meeting for 4,000 people, bringing immense happiness to the ARMY.

This event marked his first official activity on the 11th anniversary of BTS’s debut, adding to the occasion’s significance. Jin’s emotional message, shared through Weverse Live, attracted up to 900,000 concurrent viewers worldwide, demonstrating his lasting popularity, with over 3.53 million total views.

Fans from Mexico (12.4%), Indonesia (11.3%), Japan (10.2%), the United States (9.5%), Brazil (7.3%), India (5.8%), Korea (4.2%), Peru (2.8%), and Colombia (2.5%) tuned in to watch his live message.

Big Hit Music celebrated Jin’s discharge with a “Apo Bangpo” (Army Forever, Bulletproof Forever) banner on the HYBE building in Yongsan, Seoul. Around 4,000 fans filled the gymnasium, welcoming Jin with chants of his real name, ‘Kim Seok-jin,’ and holding signs that read, “Hello, my universe, nice to meet you again.”

Jin opened the event with his solo debut single ‘The Astronaut,’ released before his enlistment in October 2022. Mirroring a scene from the song’s music video, he entered the stage on a bicycle, symbolizing an astronaut returning from a long journey. Transitioning from military uniform to a neat suit, he captivated the audience.

I haven’t sung in 1 year and 6 months, so I closed my eyes to avoid being overwhelmed by your cheers. It was really hard. Guys (BTS members), where are you? I really miss you,” he laughed, clearly still adjusting to performing again.

Despite his initial nervousness, Jin thanked the fans, walking around the stage and waving as he expressed his gratitude for their unwavering support. He also performed a live version of ‘Super Tuna,’ which he had initially released to celebrate his birthday in December 2021, debuting a new second verse created for this event.

Jin, who had served as a teaching assistant during his military service, shared stories about his time in the military, mentioning how he bonded with his fellow servicemen, who were his age. He admitted, “I promised not to cry when I was discharged, but seeing my friends cry made me emotional too.”

The fan meeting included various performances and activities, such as the ‘Seven’ challenge featuring Jungkook’s hit song, and a ‘mukbang’ session where he enjoyed tuna sashimi, Tanghulu, and drinks.

Jin concluded the hour-long event with “Moon,” a song from BTS’ fourth full-length album, which likens the ARMY to the Earth from the moon’s perspective. Before ending, he sincerely stated, “Seeing our ARMYs enjoying themselves made me realize once again, ‘This is where I belong’ and ‘This is my home.'”

Reflecting on the event, Jin shared that he had insisted on participating in the fan meeting on BTS’s debut anniversary, saying, “The company asked what I wanted to do on June 13, and I said I had to do something since the other members weren’t here.” He humorously added, “I started recording ‘Super Tuna’ from midnight today.”

He ended with optimism, encouraging his fellow members to return soon, “Everyone’s military service will end soon, and they will come back in great shape. I’m really looking forward to it. Come back quickly, friends!”