It’s a hard truth that young K-pop male artists have to leave their groups and fans for about two years to serve in the military. The artists used to postpone the serving as much as possible in the past. However, idol stars these days tend to serve almost simultaneously with other group members, so that they can come back as a group as soon as possible.
This year, too, a number of idol stars are to enlist. Some of them, including Big Bang’s Seungri, Wanna One’s Yoon Ji-sung, HIGHLIGHT Lee Gi-Kwang, and EXO’s Xiumin, have not specified the dates but planning to start their services this year.
BTOB’s Lee Chang-sub joined the military on January 14, becoming the first to serve as a K-pop singer this year. Another member from the group, Lee Min-hyuk, is waiting for his enlistment on February 7 as well.
B1A4’s member CNU is enlisting on January 22. At the recent fan meet event, CNU spoke about his imminent enlistment, saying, “It was sooner than I thought, but I will be back as a stubborn man after doing my duties as a citizen.”
Following CNU, HIGHLIGHT’s Yang Yo-sub is enlisting on January 24. He recently stepped down from his radio show. Block B’s Park Kyung has replaced him as the DJ.
In addition, rappers Loco and Hanhae are enlisting early next month.
By Heewon Kim