One of the many challenges of becoming a K-pop or K-drama fan is the fact that at some point, you will have to bid a temporary goodbye to your favorite male stars. In South Korea, it is mandated by law that all able-bodied men will have to enlist in the military. Luckily, they only have to serve the army for around two years before they get discharged!
And while some Korean stars are set to enlist this year, there are also a bunch of them who will be coming back this 2020! Here’s a quick list of those who are about to be discharged and have already returned from the military!
1. Go Kyung Pyo
When he enlisted: May 21, 2018
Date of return: January 15, 2020
First on the list is the beloved actor from Chicago Typewriter and Reply 1988! Right after getting discharged, he was immediately cast for Private Life alongside SNSD’s maknae, Seohyun.
2. Kim Bum
When he enlisted: April 26, 2018
Date of return: March 15, 2020
Who can forget Kim Bum’s role as Lee Jeong in Boys Over Flowers? (Is there such a thing as supporting role syndrome? I may have had it a little bit for him.) After his release from the military, there have been reports that he will be joining Lee Dong Wook and Jo Bo Ah in the upcoming drama Tale of The Nine-Tailed Fox.
3. Jang Geun Seuk
When he enlisted: July 16, 2018
Date of expected return: May 2020
Most people may know Jang Geun Seuk from dramas like You’re Beautiful, Beethoven Virus, and Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey), but he is actually a well-known musician! He has made television and music-related appearances in both South Korea and Japan, earning the nickname Asia Prince.
4. Kim Min Suk
When he enlisted: December 10, 2018
Date of expected return: July 2020
5. & 6. 2PM's Jang Woo Young and Jun K
Dates of return: Jun. K, February 25, 2020; Jang Woo Young, January 2, 2020
2PM’s Jun. K was discharged from the military earlier this year! Did you know he even received the Special Warfare Command certificate for performing well during his conscription? Daebak! Meanwhile, his bandmate, Jang Woo Young, was actually scheduled to be released by February 28, but was released earlier as an effort by Korea’s Ministry of National Defense to combat COVID-19.
6. & 7. 2AM's Jo Kwon and Jeong Jin Woon
Jo Kwon was discharged from the military on March 24, 2020. His bandmate, Jin Woon, will be discharged by October this year as well. Oh, and if you didn’t know yet, 2PM and 2AM were actually from the Korean group One Day, but they split up and formed the two mentioned groups!
7.-10. HIGHLIGHT's Doo Joon, Yo Seob, Gikwang, Dongwoon
Dates of their expected return: Doo Joon, April 10, 2020); Yo Seob, August 2020; Gikwang, November 2020; Dongwoon, December 2020
Formerly known as Beast, Lights (Highlight’s fandom name) are in for a delight as all members of the K-pop group are set to return from the military this year!
11. Yong Jun Hyung
When he enlisted: April 2, 2019
Highlight’s former rapper Jun Hyung will be returning from the military this year. The rapper left the group after reports of his involvement in the illegally taken videos by singer Jung Joon Young.
12. Jang Hyun Seung
When he enlisted: July 24, 2018
Date of return: March 13, 2020
Another former member of Beast, Jang Hyun Seung left the group but stayed with their agency, Cube Entertainment. Meanwhile, the rest of the K-pop boy band left their agency and changed their name to Highlight.
13.-16. Infinite's Sunggyu, Sungyeol, Dongwoo, and Hoya
Dates of expected return: Sunggyu, January 8, 2020; Sungyeol, October 2020; Dongwoo, November 2020; Hoya, December 2020
While Kim Myung Soo is expected to enlist in the military this year, his bandmates are slated to return from the military this year.
17. Wanna One - Yoon Ji Sung (Expected to return by December 2020)
When he enlisted: May 14, 2019
Date of return: December 2020
Wannables are all patiently waiting for the return of Yoon Ji Sung, all the while being treated to photo updates of the idol. He is currently scheduled to be released by December this year.
18.-20. BTOB's Seo Eun Kwang, Lee Min Hyuk, and Lee Chang Seob
Dates of expected return: Seo Eun Kwang, April 7, 2020; Lee Min Hyuk, September 2020; Lee Chang Seob, August 2020
Yook Sung Jae's bandmates Eun Kwang, Minhyuk, ang Changseob, are all returning from the military this year! In fact, Eun Kwang has already released snippets of his new song!
21. EXO's Xiumin
When he enlisted: May 6, 2019
Date of return: December 2020
Xiumin, EXO’s first member to enlist in the military, is expected to return to his EXO-Ls this year! During his service, he has made his fans proud by being promoted to assistant instructor after performing amicably during his training!
22-24. SHINEE's Onew, Key, and Minho
Dates of expected return: Onew, July 2020; Key, October 2020; Minho, November 2020
Three members of the K-pop boy group SHINEE will be returning from the military this year, with Minho being the last one to return in November 2020. This gives Shawols a bit of time to see their boys complete again before Taemin, SHINEE’s youngest member, will take his turn to enlist in the military.