Park Bo-Gum And Woo Do-Hwan Are About To Enlist In The Military
We're going to miss them while they're away from the limelight!
It's the law—all able-bodied men aged 18 to 28 in South Korea must complete military service for at least two years. The requirement has been in place since the 50s, and it has seen very few changes since it was implemented.
This means one thing and one thing only for Korean actors: they're not exempted from conscription, and even at the height of their careers, they'll have to take a break from the glamour of showbiz, exchanging their luxurious lifestyles for combat training, drills of every kind, and good old cammo uniforms.
Lee Min-ho's small screen comeback after his military service, The King: Eternal Monarch, recently ended. Kim Soo-hyun, on the other hand, is now back in the limelight via the ongoing K-Drama It's Okay to Not be Okay after he was discharged on July last year. Hallyu star Jang Geun-suk was also just discharged last month after completing his mandatory military service.
Korean actors like Lee Jong-suk and Park Hyung-sik are currently away from the spotlight and carrying out their military duties. Now, next in line are Encounter star Park Bo-gum and The King: Eternal Monarch Woo Do-hwan.
Here's what we know about what's in store for the young actors:
Park Bo-gum's agency, Blossom Entertainment, confirmed his enlistment. If everything goes as planned, he'll begin military duties as early as August 31. It's a lot to take in for his fans who didn't anticipate the news; however, given that Park Bo-gum turned 27 earlier this month, many felt that this was simply a matter of time.
No specific details have been released about his enlistment, but it's been speculated that he's headed to join the Navy and will be playing in the military band. He's a musical theater major, after all, and he'll be able to make full use of his talents in that setting.
Meanwhile, Woo Do-hwan made sure to personally announce his enlistment and did so much more emotionally. He posted a handwritten letter on Instagram on June 24 where he writes the following message:
"Hello. This is Woo Do Hwan.
You may be surprised by the sudden news, but I am writing this letter because I wanted to personally announce this to my fans first. I am enlisting as an active duty soldier on July 6.
I feel apologetic for not being able to directly meet you and say goodbye.I was happy while doing every project I was in thanks to the overflowing love everyone gave me.Thank you for watching over my 20s and loving me. Thanks to that, I was able to spend my 20s very happily.
I hope that you will be healthy and happy during these difficult times. I will return in good health and work to impress once again.
I love you so much and feel so thankful that I cannot express it fully in words.
June 24, 2020.From, Woo Do Hwan."
Like Park Bo-gum, Woo Do-hwan has also just turned 27, making military service an unavoidable responsibility for them. Woo Do-hwan's agency also announced that his enlistment will be done privately, without any fanfare or cameras on the day.
He first broke into the scene six years ago, but international fans will recognize him for his role as Jo Yeong and Jo Eun-sup in the recently-concluded The King: The Eternal Monarch.
South Korea's military enlistment lasts for at least 20 months, which means Park B0-gum and Woo Do-hwan's fans are going to have to sit tight and wait for their idols' big comebacks.
Until then, we're definitely going to be re-watching their best films and dramas!
Photos from @parkb0gum and @wdohwan