Kai will begin military service next week ahead of EXO's album release, announces his agency; fans left heartbroken
Exo's Kai will start his military service next week ahead of his group's album release, his agency announced. Fans have said ‘our happiness has been snatched’.
EXO member Kai will begin his mandatory military service next week, his agency SM Entertainment announced the 'sudden news to fans' recently. As per the statement, Kai will receive basic military training, and then serve as a public service worker. The announcement comes ahead of EXO’s upcoming album. (Also Read | When Karan Johar mistook EXO fans cheering for Korean singer Kai in Paris as his fans)
EXO consists of nine members--Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun. On January 5 this year, Suho announced that the group is set to release new music after spring. EXO celebrated their 11th debut anniversary with a fan meeting, titled 2023 Exo Fanmeeting Exo Clock, in April.
As quoted by Soompi, Kai's agency said in a statement on Wednesday, "Hello. This is SM Entertainment. We have come to relay sudden news to fans regarding Kai’s military service. Kai was preparing for EXO’s comeback scheduled for this year, but due to a recent change in regulations of the Military Manpower Administration, he is set to enter the army recruit training center on May 11 where he will receive basic military training, and he will then serve as a public service worker."
It also read, "In respect of Kai’s intention to enlist quietly, his enlistment location and time will not be revealed, and there will be no special event on the day of, so we ask for the understanding of fans. Regarding the plans for EXO’s album, we will inform you once the details are sorted out. Thank you."
Fans were left disheartened at the sudden news update. Taking to Twitter, a person wrote, "I just can't...I literally can't handle this. I so love him in variety shows (most especially in New World) and I'm feeling the sadness here too." A comment read, "Kinda sad you have to go at such sudden notice but I’m sure you’ll do well there Nini. See you in 2025! We will miss you. Kai, we will wait for you!"
A Twitter user said, "Please don't leave me, I’m so sad. And here we thought Kai was hiding his hair because of the comeback!" Another person commented, "I'm not ready for this, I thought we'd see them all in the comeback, we'll wait for you, Jongin!!!" "We knew he would be enlisting soon. But not in a week. And not one month before the first full Korean group comeback in 5 years - which we and they had been so looking forward to. Our happiness has been snatched away," a comment read. "The fact that SM isn't even prepared for this because they're literally preparing for a comeback in June..." said another person.
Apart from being a member of EXO, Kai is also a member of its sub-unit Exo-K, and SuperM. He debuted as a soloist in November 2020 with the release of his extended play, Kai. Kai has also featured in several television dramas such as Choco Bank (2016), Andante (2017), and Spring Has Come (2018).