Just three days after Heechul’s first military training photos surfaced online, another group photo of him at the Nonsan Training Facility was posted on a local community board today. In the photo, Heechul is making a fierce soldier’s expression with a raised fist, impressing many fans that worried how he would survive the rigorous boot camp training.
Also, SM Entertainment posted a video of Heechul’s message before joining the military through their YouTube channel on Sept. 5. In the video, Heechul says:
“Hi all, this is Kim Heechul. I got a chance to meet you through this video message. By the time you see this on the Web, I’ll probably be getting military training. Perhaps, you’re already aware of it, but I really wanted to just enlist without making such a big deal out of it. But people around me, including my co-workers, have told me that it would be disrespectful to the fans that showed so much love and support for me. And I agreed with them because if one day I just disappeared and when my fans asked people, ‘Where did Heechul go?’ all they heard was, ‘Oh, right! He went to the army,’ then I’m sure all of my fans would feel betrayed. So I decided to bid farewell through this video message.
So, yes, I turned 29 this year. Compared to other people, I’m enlisting a bit late, but as a healthy Korean man, although I’ve had some injuries and will work in other areas after the four week training, I think there’s nothing special about joining the army. So please don’t feel sorry, and after two years when I return, please continue to love and support me so I could keep being the “The Big Space Star.” But I mean, if you happen to like someone other than me when I comeback, then there won’t be much I could do, haha. For two years, I’ll do my best and take good care of me, so when I return I’ll come back as a more mature and grown up person. This has been brought to you by Kim Heechul. I think this is the first time I’m saying this, but to our Super Junior fan club, E.L.Fs, I would like to say thank you so much. I’ve always loved you and felt thankful for you guys, but now I get to say this. I love you and thank you.”
Heechul will train for four weeks before moving on to work as a public service employee at a local district office for 23 months.