K-pop boy band Monsta X’s leader Shownu, 29, will be enlisting in the military this month and will serve in the alternative service due to his health condition.
Starship Entertainment, Monsta X’s agency, and Shownu both made announcements regarding the matter.
The agency said Shownu will enter the military camp on July 22 and undergo basic military training for three weeks before starting his alternative service as a social service worker. It said Shownu was diagnosed with retinal detachment in his left eye in July 2020 and was adjudged to be ineligible for active duty service due to surgery.
According to the US National Eye Institute, “Retinal detachment is an eye problem that happens when your retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye) is pulled away from its normal position at the back of your eye.”
Retinal detachment is one of the 411 medical and physical conditions and diseases used by Korea’s Military Manpower Administration in evaluating conscripts. Each condition and disease is evaluated based on the degree of illness, and mental and physical disability.
Last May, Starship Entertainment said Shownu would be taking a break after suffering complications from eye surgery. It said that “Shownu felt discomfort in the eye due to excessive exposure to strong lighting while preparing for Monstax X’s upcoming album. He immediately visited the hospital for an examination and received appropriate medical treatment.” As a result, he did not participate in Monsta X’s promotions for the album “One of a Kind.”
On Monsta X’s official fan cafe, Shownu posted a letter and said that “I’m taking a short hiatus starting on July 22 to fulfill my duty for national defense. It seems like it’s only been yesterday since I debuted, but the time has come to go to the military.”
“I’ve been working hard up until now, and I have experienced fun and hard times. I’ve been spending meaningful and valuable times with the members and fans. Thank you for letting me feel and experience many things while promoting with Monsta X. I will repay you as much as I can so I hope you continue to have fun with Monsta X and Shownu. Love you always. Yes, I love you and see you soon,” said Shownu.
Starship Entertainment said for the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the location and time of Shownu’s enlistment will not be announced and there will be no special event on the day of his enlistment.