While military service can be a rough experience for Korean men, especially K-Pop idols who face an added layer of prejudice for being conscripted police officers, there’s a part of the experience that’s extremely challenging.
In his segment Neighborhood Bro Jjun, veteran idol SS501‘s Kim Hyungjun opened up about the most difficult part of completing mandatory military service.
When asked about his “hardest time” during those two years, Kim Hyungjun gave an answer that most Korean men could relate to. He responded, “When I felt shame that my personal life was on pause.” He shared why it had been such a significant worry.
As a celebrity with fans waiting for him, Kim Hyungjun thought their interest in him would become nonexistent. There was something else that weighed on his mind even more, though.
I was worried that they might forget about me? I was scared of those things, to be honest.
— Kim Hyungjun
After adjusting to military life, Kim Hyungjun didn’t know if he’d be able to return to doing the things he did before. In fact, having all of these worries about the future ended up being the most challenging thing for him to handle.
‘Will I be able to go back to my normal life after military service?’ I thought this every day until I got out. I think the mental part was the hardest.
— Kim Hyungjun
Fortunately, Kim Hyungjun was able to overcome those worries. After completing his service, he released solo music, met with fans in Korea and Japan, and is now talking about his experiences through his YouTube channel.