With his bandmate Yunho starting his mandatory Korean military service on July 21, fans took comfort in the fact that TVXQ's Changmin would still be around.
But today, July 7, SM Entertainment announced the surprising news that Changmin, 27, will also be joining the army this year, meaning TVXQ will officially be on hiatus until 2017.
A spokesperson tells IdolWow!, "Changmin was recently accepted for a position in the military police force and will enlist later this year."
An industry source adds, "He still had two years left before he was obliged to enlist, but Changmin wanted to complete his military duties at the same time as Yunho so TVXQ could be back on stage together as soon as possible."
Changmin is currently filming the remaining episodes for vampire period drama Scholar Who Walks the Night, which debuts on MBC on Wednesday July 8 and also stars Kim So Eun, Lee Soo Hyuk and Lee Joon Ki.
At a Seoul press conference for the series today, he shared his thoughts on Yunho, 29, enlisting later this month. "I actually went solo at a performance in Japan just yesterday. It felt so empty. I was a bit sad and I missed him too.
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"When we’re singing, it feels reassuring for us to be together... Yunho will be very busy with work right up until enlistment, so if there is time, I think I will need to send him off with a nice meal, or a chat, if only a long one over the phone."