Infinite Sungyeol Posts Touching Handwritten Letter Ahead of Enlistment

Infinite Sungyeol, who is set to enlist early next week, revealed his short hair and a handwritten letter to fans on social media.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvTEmErhfn8/

Infinite member Sungyeol showed off his new short hairstyle in a picture he posted on social media on Friday. His new short locks, a hairstyle that is mandatory for all soldiers, signals that it is almost time for the singer to enlist in the military.

Enlistment can be a difficult time for celebrities who are forced to put their careers on hold and their fans for the same reason. Understanding this, Sungyeol posted a handwritten letter alongside the photo of himself.

In the touching letter, the singer talked about debuting, the creation of the group’s fandom name, and the memories they created together. “It’s been nine years since I made my debut in 2010 and met you all under the name ‘Infinite,” he wrote. “We’ve been through a lot, haven’t we? The day we got our “Inspirit” name, the day of our first fan meeting, the first time we ranked no.1 on a music show, and my first solo concert,” he reminisced, “I had so many memories!”

“I’ll take these happy memories that I made with you all, and I’ll keep them in my heart,” Sungyeol wrote. “Thank you so much for being with Infinite this whole time, and I love you. I’ll be healthy and will return.”

The singer will go through basic training for five weeks before being assigned a permanent position for at least the next year and a half.

 

 

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By O.C

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U-KISS Kiseop Quietly Enlists After Saying Goodbye to Fans

U-KISS Kiseop quietly enlisted on Thursday without any special event.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvQeA_HHMGI/

On Thursday U-KISS Kiseop enlisted at the Nonsan Army Training Center with no special event, but he did say goodbye to fans. In a handwritten letter that he uploaded on Instagram, he talked about the staff and fans who have been with the group for the past ten years.

“It’s been 10 years since I’ve been active with U-KISS,” and “For 10 years I have been running with the members, our staff, and our fans,” he wrote. Continuing, he mentions that he is a bit embarrassed by his late enlistment and that he is lacking in many ways. Even so, he plans to return after completing his training and service sincerely.

After completing basic training, Kiseop will take on the role of a social service worker. Because of spinal disc issues, the singer will not be able to become an active duty soldier. Notably, he is the third member from his group to enter the military following member Soohyung and Hoon, the latter of which entered earlier this week. The remaining members Eli, who is American, and Jun who is much younger, will focus on individual activities.

Meanwhile, Kiseop has been active in both Korea and Japan. Late last year, his Japanese Christmas album Glory topped the Oricon chart. Months before, he and Hoon formed a unite and released a successful Japanese single.

 

 

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By O.C

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U-KISS Hoon Bids Fans Farewell Before Military Enlistment

Hoon, a member of veteran K-pop group U-KIss, bid his fans farewell as he joined the military on Monday.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvIworJB4WU/

U-KISS Hoon quietly entered the military on Monday without any special event. As with all new able-bodied recruits, the singer will undergo basic training for five weeks before being assigned a permanent position.

However, while the singer did not hold a special event, Hoon posted a handwritten letter to his fans on social media. “Thank you Kiss Me. I’ll return well!” the singer wrote, referring to the name of the U-KISS’ fan club.

“I’m going to [complete my service] with confidence. Since I’ve joined U-KISS, I’ve had so many many memorable and happy moments until now. I’ll come back to you with a heart and body that is like an adult,” he wrote. In addition to these promises and show of gratitude, the singer also said that fans would give him strength throughout his service.

Meanwhile, Hoon is the second member of the group to enlist. A little over a year ago, the group’s leader Soohyun began his service in December 2017. Following Hoon’s enlistment, Kiseop is expected to enter the military later this month on the 21st. On the other hand, Eli who was born and grew up in the U.S., and June who is not of age yet, will focus on individual activities.

 

 

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By O.C

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Singer Im Siwan Completes His Military Service Later This Month

Singer Im Siwan is going to be discharged later this month having completed his mandatory military service.

Image source – OSEN News database

Im Siwan’s agency, Plum Actors, reported on Tuesday that on March 27, the actor will be discharged having fully completed his military service. According to the agency, the army plan to hold a ceremony at the 25th Infantry Division in Yangju, Gyeonggi Province.

With a busy last day and to not disturb the soldiers and families also attending the ceremony, the agency will not release any details about it. A representative from the agency issued a statement thanking fans who supported the actor throughout his time in the army. Additionally, they ask that they continue to show this lover and appreciation for Im as he restarts his career.

Meanwhile, actor Im enlisted in July of 2017 and continued to serve 20 months in the military.

 

 

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By O.C

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B1A4 CNU Completes Military Basic Training

Singer B1A4 CNU has finally completed basic military training and will not be assigned to a permanent position.

B1A4 CNU, who enlisted in January, has completed all basic military training. The news came on Thursday when group member Gongchan posted a photo on social media at a completion ceremony. The event was held at the boot camp of the 27th Infantry Division in Gangwon Province.

In addition to the singer’s family, members and artists from WM Entertainment attended the ceremony where they congratulated him. Unfortunately, member Sandeul couldn’t join because of a schedule conflict. Gongchan commented that during the event that CNU looked “so nice and cool” and that he had worried about his fellow member. However, after seeing CNU, he feels like he doesn’t have to be so concerned anymore.

Meanwhile, the rest of B1A4 have focused on personal and solo activities.

 

 

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By O.C

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VIXX’s N Shares Picture of Haircut Ahead of Military Enlistment

In the days leading up to his enlistment, VIXX’s N has gone through a checklist including spending time with group members and cutting his hair.

Image source – Jellyfish Entertainment

On Monday, VIXX’s N will officially enlist into the military where he will go through about five-weeks basic training before getting an assigned position. Ahead of his time in the army, the singer and leader of VIXX has been ticking off a checklist which included spending time with fans and group members and cutting his hair.

On the singer’s official social media accounts, he released several pictures of himself having dinner with the other members of VIXX and his new haircut.

Image source – N’s Twitter account

The dinner and haircut come after fan meetings in both South Korea and Japan last month. On the 16th and 17th, VIXX met with some 6,000 fans in Korea. Then, toward the end of the month, he had a solo fan meeting in Osaka and Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the rest of the members will engage in solo activities until all members are reunited.

 

 

 

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By O.C

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[BREAKING] Lee Jong-suk to Join Military Next Month

Actor Lee Jong-suk will start his military (alternative) service on March 8th.

On February 25th, a source told Ilgan Sports, “Lee Jong-suk will start his military duty on March 8th, and unfortunately his fans will miss him for 2 years”.

When Lee Jong-suk was 16 years old, he had a big traffic accident, which led to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury. The injury was so big that he had to give up his dream to become a taekwondo player. Therefore, Lee Jong-suk received a level 4 from the physical examination. According to the Military Manpower Administration’s rules, a person with a level 4 physical grade must receive an “alternative” military service, which means Lee Jong-suk will serve his 2 year-long military duty as a public service worker at an appointed location.

Lee Jong-suk will leave after he finishes filming the drama ‘Romance Is a Bonus Book’. Lee will wrap up filming his parts on the 27th this month. Other cast members will also finish filming in the beginning of March.

However, he won’t take a rest for the 10 days that he has left after filming the tvN drama. He will continue finishing his schedules including shooting for commercials. Because there is an increasing number of public social workers recently, Lee Jong-suk will first begin working at a designated location, and then he will receive the basic training. The specific dates have not been decided.

If Lee Jong-suk joins the army on March 8th as planned, his discharge date will be January 2nd, 2021.

 

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by Audrey Joung

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Beenzino Completes Military Service and Reunites with Girlfriend and Family

On Sunday, Beenzino’s girlfriend waited for the rapper to walk through the military base’s gate to greet him.

Image source – Beenzino’s Instagram

Rapper Beenzino (Lim Sung-bin) was discharged from the military on Sunday morning and had an emotional reunion with his German model girlfriend Stephanie Michova and his family. The couple has been together for five years and for two of those years they spent in mostly apart due to Lim’s mandatory military service.

Lim shared their reunion on social media where he shared a photo. This has become a common practice for the couple that went public with the relationship in 2015. Since then, they have demonstrated their unwavering affection for each other by releasing photos of the two of them together. Further, although they are a famous couple, they enjoy simple ordinary dates and occasionally wear couple’s clothing.

Back in 2016, the rapper talked about how the two have managed to maintain their relationship despite living in different countries. Lim explained that “cell phones are important to us” and said that they are in constant communication. “We basically talk about what we did in a day, about annoying things, about pleasant things,” he said. “and we talk about it before going to bed.”

 

 

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By O.C

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[OPINION] History of Kpop Boy Groups From 1990s

Kpop has come a long way over the years to become globally recognized in 2019. Looking back from the first generation of idols from the 1990s to now, Kpop idols have always had the burden of being adventurous and trend-setting icons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CYZNWjVSGY

With the current trend of older Kpop idol groups making a comeback to the Kpop scene, a lot has changed over the decades. In the 1990s when the first Kpop idol groups started emerging like H.O.T, Sechs Kies, Shinhwa and G.O.D, these idol groups experienced much criticism and love for their music while trying to solidify the upcoming genre, Kpop.

Taking a trip down memory lane towards one’s youth or childhood, there are some groups that can NOT be forgotten! The first generation of idol boy groups who not only created what is today’s Kpop fandom culture but also the foundation for the Hallyu wave! While there are many idols that deserve to be considered legends for each decade (1990s, 2000s, 2010s), these specific groups mentioned in this article were selected based on hours of research, personal memory, today’s popularity/activities and such! As a result, many may not agree with the listing or feel some idol groups should have been mentioned. Please note this is solely the opinion of the writer who may be biased with childhood memories of watching these groups in variety shows like SBS’s X-Men (2003-2007), SBS’s Love Letter (2004-2006) etc!

First generation of Kpop boy groups (1990s)

H.O.T (1996-2001, 2018-present)

SBS

Finding anyone who doesn’t know H.O.T would be rare in the Kpop scene. H.O.T is considered the first ever Kpop idol group that was formed by SM Entertainment. Even TVN’s hit drama series ‘Reply 1997’ (2012) has many references to H.O.T where the female lead is a die-hard fan of H.O.T’s Tony.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZMkmlwgsCY

To signify how much importance H.O.T has in Korean culture, H.O.T had their reunion in 2018 through the famous variety show, MBC’s ‘Infinity Challenge’ (2005-2018).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GqIxImIF7E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgbG-zPpt7w

After H.O.T made their comeback in 17 years on ‘Infinity Challenge’, H.O.T went on to hold their comeback concert in Seoul where fans and idols took a trip back to their youth in the 90s.

Secks Kies (1997-2000, 2016-present)

YG

The second idol group in Kpop history, aka H.O.T’s rival, played an important role for shaping Kpop fandom. The power of Kpop fans gave rise to allowing artists to venture into other fields within the entertainment industry. Secks Kies was the first idol group to film their own movie, perform in a musical and perform at the Blue House for the president serving during that time.

Clip of H.O.T vs. Sech Kies fan war from Reply 1997 Kdrama

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNoNi_BkWaM

Secks Kiss also made their comeback in 2016 as guests on MBC’s ‘Infinity Challenge’ through a guerrilla concert. It was reported news of Secks Kies’s reunion was shared only 5 hours before the concert, which still managed to gather 6000 fans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQPNoDDDVR0

To really get an idea for what it was like in the 1990s during the reign of H.O.T and Sechs Kies, I HIGHLY recommend watching TVN’s Reply 1997. It is pretty accurate in depicting how severe or passionate Kpop fandom culture already was back then. Not to mention, this drama in addition to the rest of the Reply series (1997, 1994, 1988) are really great dramas to watch whether to understand Korean culture or to reminisce about your past.

Shinhwa (1998-present)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rQGj_ztOOM

The role model of many idols, the longest active boy group in Kpop history, Shinhwa is the idol group who showed versatility to be possible for Kpop idols. It is common for idol groups to keep to their “color” or “style” but Shinhwa has proven the key to longevity to be due to the constant rebranding and continuous creativity among other things. Shinhwa formed their own company Shinhwa Company with Minwoo and Eric as co-CEOs managing their activities as a group confirming the brotherhood among the members.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsDlbial4SQ/

Shinhwa members are well known for their talents in various areas in the entertainment industry. Not only are they immensely popular for their appearances on variety shows, each member has successfully proven their talents in various areas like dramas, movies, musicals, producing and much more!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=figebKjmTFo

Shinhwa is extremely talented and everyone has such a great relationship, it is no wonder the group has made history by being the longest active Kpop idol group! They spend infinite amounts of time and effort for fans, one of the most noteworthy would be that they have a concert every year. In 2019, it will be their 21st anniversary since debut.

G.O.D (1999-present)

Google

JYP’s first idol group G.O.D has never disbanded, however they were previously on an extended hiatus as each member pursed their solo careers. G.O.D is known for their iconic songs that really reflected Korean culture in the early 2000s amassing fans from various age groups. Labeled as the “nation’s idols” that used lyrics described as  “storytelling,” many of their songs are still remembered as iconic Korean songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72BqCAmhnxk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXkhIODcvuM

G.O.D is considered to be part of the legendary first generation Kpop idol groups among H.O.T, Seck’s Kiss and Shinhwa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6RXGKRmO6I

G.O.D’s songs are one of the best songs to sing in karaoke regardless of how old the songs are. The songs are still relatable and relevant amidst the 4th industrial revolution, simply “classic songs.”

Kpop Boy Groups of the 2000s

Super Junior (2005-present)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAaWj_C2iPE

The iconic Kpop idol group that broke the stereotype by consisting of many members even 13 at one point. Super Junior can be considered to be one of the earliest hallyu idols that paved the path for Kpop to become globally recognized. Not only are they a household name today in 2019 but their everlasting popularity in Korea and abroad is something many idols aim for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6QA3m58DQw

Super Junior can be considered one of the examples of successful subgroups that has proven to create more opportunities for the idols to showcase their talents outside of their group activities. After dominating Asia, Super Junior has proven their reigning power as iconic Kpop idols by their amazing success in Latin America even releasing songs in English, Korean and Spanish!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbB4SYJNuTo

Super Junior was one of the first idol groups with so many members creating the opportunity to market to so many different preferences. Each member had their own unique remarkable characteristics that would appeal to nearly anyone. Frankly, it was a genius move by SM and now we have idol groups that follow this strategy! (Thank you SM!)

Big Bang (2006-present)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAKGzAIl0mY

YG’s first idol group aka “Kings of Kpop” and the MVPs for setting the Hallyu wave ablaze internationally, especially outside of Asia, Big Bang is the group who continuously redefined what ‘KPOP’ is by experimenting out of the norm while expressing their individuality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzCbEdtNbJ0

Big Bang is renowned for writing their own songs which plays a significant role for their success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ips2mM7Zqw

Not only is the group incredible for having so many No.1 songs but also their success promoting as subunits and soloists unbelievable that has become something to strive for the following generation of idols. Is there anyone who doesn’t know Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose, Lips or GD’s Coup d’etat?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwuAPyOImoI

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8T6771Sdj8&index=25&list=PL0D12C278EAF39032&t=0s

Just thinking of Big Bang, the concept of swag, hip, fast beats, clubs and parties come to mind. While is it sad to see that most of the members are still serving mandatory military service, it won’t be long before they will be back!

SHINee (2008-present)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJq_1x-m9sY

The boy band of SM aka the “Princes of Kpop” who set the standard for live performances with complex dance moves, Shinee contrasts crucially with other groups of the 2000s. Not only is this group experimental with their music exploring various genres, they are also considered the “aesthetic,” “artistic,” “beautiful” group through their choreography, concepts and wardrobes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dww9UjJ4Dt8

With the sad passing of member Jonghyun (RIP) in 2017, Shinee will never be the same. However, Shinee’s songs as a quintet, Jonghyun’s legacy remains as numerous fans continue to love and cheer for Shinee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J41qe-TM1DY

Shinee will forever be that scarred part of my Kpop love. They have had to regroup after the unfortunate experience of losing a member, however I fervently hope that they will be able to recover not only for themselves and fans but also for the legacy of JH to not be forgotten in the future.

Kpop Boy Groups of Today (2010s)

With less than 10 months before the end of the current decade, there are so many boy groups who debuted and deserve to be listed as THE boy group of 2010s. While many would want to nominate for their favorite group, I would say based on the past 110 months (2010-2019.2), EXO and BTS are the ones who will be considered the “legends” of 2010s in Kpop history years from now.

EXO (2012-present)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HizQP02WL1s

BTS (2013-present)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6UlRDcA93g

Is there anyone in the Kpop scene who doesn’t know EXO and BTS? EXO is the 3rd generation of SM’s beloved idol boy group taking on the baton from their seniors H.O.T, Shinhwa, Super Junior and Shinee. BTS is without a doubt the “titans of Kpop” if my 90 year old grandmother knows who they are because of the Korean news. So many records were broken and so much history was made by these two idol groups during this decade, I personally would like to bet some dough on whether BTS or EXO will show up in the history or business books in the near future. Having heard that UC Berkley is offering a DeCal class on BTS from a friend attending UCB, my odds of winning are very high. 

Looking back on Kpop idols from the 1990s, Kpop itself is still pretty young with so much potential for growth. As a passionate Kpop fan who grew up with the first generation of Kpop idols on my TV screen in the 1990s and 2000s, I genuinely hope that there will be a day when Kpop music can be heard on the radio (outside of Korean radio stations) abroad.

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Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates.

Actor Kim Min-Seok Assigned to Specialized Corp in Military

Thirty-year-old actor Kim Min-seok is set to recieve training to enter the military’s only special force.

Image source – Instagram

According to an OSEN News report on Tuesday, actor Kim Min-seok, who starred in “Descendents of the Sun,” has been assigned to the Army Scientific and Technological Warfare Training Corps at the Korean Combat Training Center in Gangwon-do, South Korea.

The Army Scientific and Technological Warfare Training Corps is the only special force in the country. It operates a specialized anti-air force regiment and special forces training to implement simulated battles that are close to the actual thing.

During these simulations, Kim’s corp aims to utilize advanced technology such as MILES (multiple integrated laser engagement system), data communications and other computer-based programs to gain an advantage. Data from these exercises is sent central control center every 30 seconds. People in the army attest that the training is so difficult that no unit has ever defeated the opposing forces.

Image source – OSEN News database

Currently, Kim is in a three-week education course at the Army Air Force Academy in South Jeolla Province. Reportedly, it is an in-depth course that one gets before being admitted to the Army Scientific and Technological Warfare Training Corps.

Meanwhile, Kim enlisted at the Nonsan Training Center on December 10 last year. Honoring his desire to begin his service quietly, he did not have any fan related events ahead of his enlistment. He is scheduled to be discharged on July 20, 2020.

 

 

 

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By O.C

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