The most recent NEO CITY THE UNITY concert in Seoul left NCT 127 fans with mixed feelings — happiness from the group’s performance and anxiety over leader Taeyong‘s future.
As it has become a tradition in K-Pop concerts, all members of NCT 127 had their ending ment as the concert drew close to its end. While all the members were emotional, Taeyong’s message left fans worried and concerned as well.
taeyong told chilzennies to take care of the members when hes not around hhhh why is his ment super sad 🥲 he also ended his ment with this is nct127's leader. and he kept on patting everyone's head while giving hugs during black clouds :')
— 스키나유타 🦋🍒 (@sukinayuta) November 25, 2023
The group’s leader hinted at the uncertainty surrounding his participation in the group’s upcoming January tour dates. This has led fans to speculate that his enlistment in the South Korean military might be happening sooner than the previously anticipated timeline.
The members and managers keep saying it’s our last but we still have a tour after! I was really stressed about this actually… The tour in January.. I’m not sure if I can say this but I don’t know how it’ll turn out…
In South Korea, all able-bodied men are required to serve in the military for about 18 to 21 months, a commitment that must be fulfilled by the time they are 30 years old. Taeyong, being born in 1995, is approaching this age limit.
And I feel like I burdened the members here with this problem, so I’m incredibly sorry.
haechan’s nose scrunch + crying while hugging taeyong ☹️ pic.twitter.com/fEBRVZ7IQk
— ْ (@dreamleeline) November 26, 2023
taeyong groaning when he sees doyoung approaching him like he knows he’s going to cry harder…i just burst into tears pic.twitter.com/JA7bDCypQN
— 🍙 (@tyomiverse) November 27, 2023
The current law also stipulates travel restrictions for those pending enlistment, limiting overseas trips six months before the service date. Given these regulations, Taeyong’s statement about the uncertainty of his presence on the January tour is causing fans to fear that his enlistment date may be near.
so apparently if your military date is set, you would have to get permission to go overseas which MAY be why taeyong said he’s not too sure how it’ll turn out! so i hope he or SM will get permission for him to go overseas 😭😭😭
— ㅌ (@tyongsource) November 26, 2023
taeyong you are so loved pic.twitter.com/tGxq59DSxa
— ㅌ (@tyongsource) November 26, 2023
The concern among fans is twofold. First, there is the immediate impact on NCT 127’s tour. Taeyong has been a pivotal figure in the group, not just as a leader but as a central performer, and his potential absence could affect the dynamics of the tour.
The group has always emphasized unity, with Taeyong himself stating, “NCT 127 shines the brightest when all of our 9 members are together.” Fans echo this sentiment, often highlighting how each member’s unique talents contribute to the group’s overall success.
Second, there is the long-term effect on Taeyong’s career trajectory. Fans have been eagerly awaiting more solo projects from him, hoping for further exploration of his artistic identity. An early enlistment could disrupt these plans, putting a temporary hold on his music production and participation in group activities. This is particularly important for idols who often have a short window to solidify their careers in the fast-paced K-Pop industry.
As the conversation unfolds on social media platforms and fan forums, there’s a collective call to support Taeyong in whatever the future holds. Fans are planning to make the most of the time left before his enlistment, whether it be through attending concerts, streaming music, or participating in fan projects.
While the waiting game continues regarding official announcements about Taeyong’s military service, NCT 127 fans worldwide are hoping for more clarity. They wish for Taeyong to have the space and time to achieve his personal and professional goals. But regardless of when he enlists, one thing is clear: the support for Taeyong will remain unwavering.