Bye, for now, Kai!
K-pop idol Kai from boy group EXO will be enlisting for mandatory military service on May 11, 2023, which is much earlier than expected.
In a teary Instagram Live on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the 29-year-old addressed his fans: “Today is the first day of me finding out about it as well, so, please be understanding. I’ll smile from tomorrow onwards.”
EXO’s highly anticipated comeback was to happen in 2023, after bandmate Baekhyun was discharged from military service in February.
Kai said, “There’s so much that I had prepared. What a pity. That’s what’s upsetting. There’s nothing that I could do about this. I’m sad that I can’t show you what I prepared, but I can show you after I return.”
Separately, his management agency SM Entertainment released a statement on the same day, writing: “Although Kai had been preparing for EXO’s comeback later this year, due to recent changes in the law regarding military enlistment, Kai will be enlisting on May 11 to complete his basic training, after which he will begin working as a social worker.”
SM added it would inform fans of other details regarding EXO’s comeback “once the details are sorted out.”
Kai inside the military
In South Korea, able-bodied men are required to serve in the military for about two years.
His agency also said it would not be divulging the time and venue of his enlistment to protect his privacy and there will be no special ceremony.
One of the most popular members of the nine-member band, which made their debut in 2012, Kai is known for his dance skills and for being an influential fashion figure.
He launched a successful solo career in 2020 with his album Kai and has also starred in K-dramas such as Choco Bank (2016), Andante (2017) and Spring Has Come (2018).
Kai also released his third mini album “Rover” just last March.
Banner Art Paulo Correa