Come back soon! TVXQ’s Yunho enlisted for his mandatory military service today, July 21.
The 29-year-old singer — who was sporting a shaved head — was all smiles as he arrived at his training camp located in Yangju, Gyeonggi province at around 2pm local time to begin his 21 months of service, which will end on April 20, 2017.
An SM Entertainment rep says the idol was accompanied by his family, friends and his manager as he went inside. Before arriving he had spent time with best pal Son Ho Joon, Super Junior’s Donghae, Yesung and Leeteuk, and also bid farewell to bandmate Changmin and the SM staff.
U-Know Yunho joined the recruit training center at the 26th Division, but unlike many stars did not give out the details beforehand (although tabloid outlet Dispatch managed to get photos). He will train for five weeks before continuing the rest of his term.
— Yesung (@shfly3424) July 21, 2015
As he entered the training camp, the hashtag #WeWillWaitForYunho began to trend around the world thanks to his huge fan base.
Before enlisting, Yunho performed performed in the TVXQ! Special Live Tour – T1ST0RY concert in Seoul on July 13 and 14. He also released a special EP, “Rise as God,” on Monday, expressing his gratitude to fans.
Yunho also filmed web drama I Order You, which will continue to air during his service and is attacking millions of views per episode.
He also wrote a letter to his fans thanking them for his support and asking for their patience as he works hard to complete his time in the military.
The “Spellbound” star hand-wrote the following in Korean on cute looking stationary:
“I’m finally enlisting. When you see this letter, I’ll already be in the army, undertaking training, right? Right now, I’m sitting down writing this letter after meeting with friends and people I know. We spent some tough days, joyful days and had happy times together, but now the time has arrived. When I think that I was once a student and now I’m going to the army (I guess because I’m 30?), I feel I have a lot to apologize for…”
“I wanted to greet you all before I enlist, but I wanted to mature not as ‘U-Know Yunho’ but as Jung Yunho. I wanted to return to how I was when I first started my dream of becoming an artist, so I made my enlistment time and location private. I thought I’d become weak if I saw all your faces.”
“I’ve always worked hard in my own way, but I promise to return as a more strong and deep monster when I return from the army. Thank you for always cheering me on. Please cheer me on in the future as well. Let’s meet again as I promise to get on stage again. I love you.”
Later this year Changmin will serve his mandatory time in the South Korean military as a policeman, as he has said he would like to finish around the same time as Yunho.
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All men in South Korea aged between 18 and 35 are expected to enlist in the military for approx. two years as the country is still technically at war with North Korea.