Some K-pop fans find it difficult to say goodbye to their favourite male idols for at least a year and a half, as they enlist themselves to serve in the South Korean military. While the mandatory military service is not forever, it’s still sad to see an idol group without all its members present.
After his enlistment earlier this month, ARMYs are now looking forward to the day of Jin’s return after his discharge in 2024. Sadly, military service is not for everyone. While it is compulsory for most, there will be a few exemptions, especially when it comes to one’s physical and mental health. Here’s why PENTAGON’s Hongseok is being discharged early:
K-pop idol Hongseok (양홍석), who is a member of PENTAGON, enlisted to undergo his military service back in May – but unfortunately, his time in the military has been cut short due to ongoing mental health issues. In a statement released by Cube Entertainment yesterday (Monday, 26th December), the company explained that the idol is apparently suffering from agoraphobia, a type of anxiety disorder characterised by the fear of being in an inescapable situation or place.
Due to the disorder, the 28-year-old has experienced multiple panic attacks and worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although he has received constant treatment and counselling while in the military, it appears that it is still too much for him. Hence why he has been medically discharged earlier than scheduled. The “Feelin’ Like” singer’s original discharge date was meant to be sometime in mid or late 2023.
“We apologize for causing concern due to the sudden news, and we will continue to do our best for Hongseok to focus on treatment,” the statement reads. After news of the early discharge broke, Universes (PENTAGON’s fandom’s name) took to Twitter and Instagram to express their concerns for the idol.
As mentioned in the statement above, Hongseok is currently receiving treatment for his mental health issues. It is currently unknown if he will rejoin his group members in their next comeback. Hongseok is the third PENTAGON member to undergo mandatory military service. We wish him a speedy recovery and that he will continue to succeed in whatever he chooses to do in the future.