Could EXO’s Kai Have Postponed His Military Service? A Military Official Speaks Up

Was it the fault of the company?

EXO‘s Kai is set to enlist in the military on May 11, 2023. The sudden news led to some tearful moments as Kai expressed frustration with being unable to show fans what he had been preparing for the group’s planned comeback.

Kai was upset not at having to enlist but at being unable to make a comeback with the group despite his hard work and efforts. His live stream created a huge buzz as everyone understood his frustrations. Along with the buzz, many wondered if it had not been possible to delay the enlistment.

As one may know, while the age for enlistment is up to 28 years old internationally, some celebrities enlisted when they were 29 or 30. This caused some fans to doubt if it was really absolutely necessary for him to enlist at this point in time, right before the planned comeback.

A military official spoke to StarNews on May 4 to answer the curiosities. According to him, “It is possible to delay the enlistment date for within a period of 2 years for a total of 5 times. When you state the reasons for the postponement, there is an option called ‘other personal reasons’ that can be used too. You can use ‘other personal reasons’ as an option up to 2 times. [Including that] a total of 5 times is possible for postponement.

| Joongang Daily

By law, South Korean men must enlist by the time they are 28 (internationally). Kai is 29 years old as of January 14, 2023. Although it is unknown to the public, he may have already used the postponement chance. Fans also noted that SM Entertainment’s mis-planning may have caused this. According to comments on a forum site, the comeback had been planned for April but got pushed back due to the company’s internal issues with the management. Had the comeback been in April as planned, Kai would have been able to enlist without missing the comeback.

Kai’s enlistment ceremony will be kept private and closed to fans per his and the company’s wishes.

Source: Star News and Nate Pann


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