Good Bye, I’ll be Back, and Hello, I’m Back: Stars Who Have Joined and Left the Army on March 7th


March 7th was quite a hectic day in Korea. Why? Because it was the day that Hyun Bin, our famed “Secret Garden” star, made a tearful departure to join the Marines Training Camp. On the other hand, stars who had left the public eye for two years were back in the arms of their welcoming fans. H.O.T’s younger member Lee Jae Won and SBS’s “Glass Castle” (2008) star and ‘Choi Ji Woo’s boyfriend’ Lee Jin Wook were back after their successful completion of their military duties. The two proved SNSD’s popularity among military soldiers by unanimously stating, “In the army, SNSD is the president” and “SNSD has been a huge support and given me strength.”


[I’ll be Back] Hyun Bin Joins the Marines, “I’ll return as a better man after two years”

Hyun Bin, who voluntarily joined the Marines, entered the Marines Training Camp on March 7th, after completing all promotional activities for both of his movies, “Late Autumn” and “Love Me, Love Me Not.” Hyun Bin was surrounded by over 700 fans and reporters at the enlistment press conference that took place in front of the Marines Training Camp center located in Kyungbuk, Pohang.

Hyun Bin sported a grey hoodie and khaki jumper with a short military buzz cut that resembled his character Dong Soo from MBC’s drama “Friend” (2008). He stood in front of the crowd as he gave out his good bye message, “Thank you for coming here to support me. I’ll be back in two years as a better man.” After his last message, Hyun Bin put down his microphone and made a deep bow with tearful eyes. Pohang city was packed that day due to the crowds of fans and reporters who came to get a glimpse of Hyun Bin.

[I’m Back] H.O.T gets together to celebrate Lee Jae Won’s Discharge

Legendary idol group H.O.T.’s youngest member Lee Jae Won was discharged from the military on March 7th. Lee Jae Won who served for two years at the 28th Division in Kyeonggido DongDooChun returned to his adoring fans safe and sound. H.O.T. fans were given an unforgettable moment as Kangta, Tony Ahn, Moon Hee Jun, and Jang Woo Hyuk came to greet Jae Won, reuniting the five H.O.T. members. Over five hundred female H.O.T. fans along with the H.O.T members gathered in one area to meet and congratulate Lee Jae Won. Tony Ahn said, “The reunion wasn’t planned. It was just natural for all of us to go and congratulate Jae Won as he is the last one of us to discharge from the military.“ Jae Won was also thrilled to see his fellow members and fans waiting for him. He said, “It’s been seven years since the five of us came together in one spot. I’m so happy to see them and I’m grateful for all the fans who came to see me.” H.O.T. disbanded in 2001 and last came together in 2004 for SBS’s “Celebrity Hall of Fame.”

[I’m Back] Choi Ji Woo’s Boyfriend Lee Jin Wook “I’ve been discharged!”

Lee Jin Wook was also discharged from the military on March 7th. The actor first received attention for his performance in SBS’s “Alone in Love” (2006), and also appeared in MBC’s “Air City,” and “Before & After: Plastic Surgery.” His last drama before joining the army was SBS’s “Glass Castle” (2008). Probably better known as ‘Choi Ji Woo’s boyfriend,’ Lee Jin Wook received spotlight from reporters at the discharge press conference that was held in front of the Defense Media Agency in Seoul, Yongsan.

Lee Jin Wook had received media attention for his unwavering affection for Choi Ji Woo, as the two were spotted together dating in public during his military service vacations. However, at the discharge press conference, he managed to elude a direct response when asked about Choi Ji Woo by playfully answering, “I most wanted to see my parents and my fans the most. I also wanted to see all the citizens of Seoul and Korea.” He also added, “SNSD girls provided huge strength and support for me when I was a private. I like all girl groups and my most recent favorite is Teen Top. I posted a photo of them in my locker because I love their performances. When asked about his future plans, he answered, “I haven’t made plans yet. Since I’ve had a hard time for the past two years, I’ll slowly think about it while getting some rest.” Lee Jin Wook also gave encouraging words to Hyun Bin, who happened to join the Marines on the same day, “Don’t get hurt and I hope you successfully complete your military duties.”

(Originally written by [email protected], Translated by [email protected], Photos taken from ARMYZINE and taken by Hanyang Girls University Broadcasting Visual Design Professor Kim Jin Tae)