SHINee’s Minho Opens Up About Fearing Mandatory Military Enlistment

He was afraid of being forgotten by his fans.

Mandatory military enlistment is a reality for every South Korean male citizen. Their government requires them to sacrifice at least 18 months of their lives in service, and no one, not even the biggest superstar, is exempt from the rule. Recently, BTS‘s Jin had to enlist for his mandatory military service, despite millions of fans around the world begging him to stay.

BTS seeing their member Jin off to the military | @BTS_twt/Twitter

As such, becoming a fan of a K-Pop boy group usually means accepting that one day the group might have to go on hiatus indefinitely until all the boys finish their service. This could mean the group could not have any activities as a complete team for years since they may not choose to go to the military simultaneously. An example is the boy group EXO, whose members have been unable to perform as an entire unit for multiple years.

EXO seeing their member D.O. off to the military | @weareoneEXO/Twitter

SHINee’s Minho opened up to hosts Josh Carrott and Ollie Kendal about the fear male celebrities face when having to halt their careers to fulfill their civic duty in a video uploaded to the 영국남자 Korean Englishman YouTube channel.

| 영국남자 Korean Englishman/YouTube

He talked about the innate fear of being forgotten by his fans since he wouldn’t be working for over a year.

SHINee’s Minho | 영국남자 Korean Englishman/YouTube

Having completed his military service from April 15, 2019, to November 15, 2020, Minho shared his realizations from the 17-month experience.

But having done my service, I realized that was all in vain. I got to meet so many new people. I loved it. Because I went when I was 29, and all those who I trained with were much younger than me. They were around 21, 20 years old, so I learned so much from them. About current trends and culture, and I was energized by them. So I really loved it.

The hosts complimented him on his optimistic outlook and being able to turn a situation that could have been purely distressful and difficult into a positive experience.

Watch the full episode of SHINee’s Minho on the 영국남자 Korean Englishman YouTube channel below. They talk about Minho’s experience in the military at the 11:25 mark.

SHINee