"Thank you so much for supporting my dream and walking with me silently."
These are the words of Jungkook, one of the four main vocalists and a dancer of the K-pop powerhouse BTS, after BIGHIT Music confirmed the news that he has initiated his military enlistment process alongside fellow members, RM, Jimin, and V.
In a letter posted on WeVerse, Jungkook expressed his sadness over the announcement. He said that he feels "heavy on one hand" but his heart warms up when he is reminded of the memories he had with their global fandom known as ARMY.
"It's already the end of November. It's very windy. I'm sure you all know, so I'm writing a short letter to you," he began his letter.
"In December, I will start a new journey. I'm leaving you for a while to serve in the military. As I share this news, I feel heavy on one hand, and on the other hand, I'm reminded of precious memories with ARMY, so my heart warms up. Every moment I've spent with you has been the brightest time of my life," the K-pop idol continued.
Jungkook also extended his gratitude to his fans and promised to be back on stage with a better version of himself.
"Thank you so much for supporting my dream and walking with me silently. I'm careful to tell you to wait for me while I'm in the military a year and a half is a long time, so I can't say anything selfish," he said.
"I promise that I'll be back on stage with a more mature side where I always am."
The 27-year-old Korean star hoped that ARMY's life would always be full of laughter and happiness and that they would live each day "healthily" and "beautifully."
"I'll miss you deeply while waiting for the day, we meet again and talk about something new. Don't get sick and stay healthy. I love you," he ended.
According to South Korean law, "those who are healthy enough to perform active or supplementary service are to be enlisted for active duty service, supplementary service, or the wartime labor service, based on their qualifications, such as educational background and age."
BTS is widely considered South Korea's biggest-ever cultural phenomenon, selling out stadiums worldwide, dominating the charts, raking in billions, and building a global legion of fans known as ARMY. According to the Guinness World Records, it is the "most popular group in the world." They are best known for their hit songs Dynamite, Butter, and FAKE LOVE, among others.
All seven members have renewed their contracts with BIGHIT and are set to have a comeback in 2025.