Andy had given up his US citizenship in 2003 and was previously assigned to Level 4 as his academic qualifications were not recognized in Korea but he subsequently passed a test which qualified him for active duty. Andy will be assigned to serve in active duty for 20 months after spending 5 weeks in basic military training.
Andy appeared with short hair and proceeded to cut a cake that fans had prepared, and also gratefully ate a choco pie – a favorite snack of Korean servicemen – before promising, “I’ll be back in good health. I’ll see you at Shinhwa’s 15th anniversary reunion!”
During a brief press conference, Andy said, “Shinhwa will kickstart group activities again. I’ll receive training for the next 2 years and come back healthily, please wait for me.”
He added, “I’m not too sure about how I feel now. More than anything else I’m worried about the cold and I’m really thankful to the fans who turned up in this cold weather.”
According to the weather forecast, temperatures will drop once again from 11th Jan onwards, which means that temperatures in the Choongnam region will dip to -8°C on the 12th and reach a low of -11°C on the 13th and 14th.
Much to the amusement of the fans, he also shared, “Last night I slept while holding my mother’s hand, and my mother and my grandmother had to tell me, ‘Wake up, you have to go to the army’ before I got up.”
“My mother and my grandmother prepared so much food, so I finished 3 meals all a once. And since I’m enlisting so late, it will be great to come back healthily after serving my duty. I hope Minwoo hyung will enlist and return in good health too.”
He also expressed his views about the possibility of being assigned to the entertainment division.
(note: An example would be like Gong Yoo, who was a radio DJ for the Korean Forces Network (KFN) a.k.a the broadcast station run by the national army.)
“It will depend on how the allocation works. Right now I still don’t know, but I’ll be praying”, indicating his hopes.
This afternoon, fellow Shinhwa members Kim Dongwan and Eric – both currently serving as public service officers and now on vacation – came along to send him off. Both Kim Dongwan and Eric will complete their military service in 2010.
“The other members can’t make it today, but I’m really grateful that Eric hyung and Dongwan hyung came along with me.”
(note: Eric and Dongwan remained in the vehicle and didn’t appear in front of the media and fans.)
Andy also expressed that he will miss his fellow Shinhwa members the most. “Right now I’m thinking of the Shinhwa members the most, and particularly Hyesung hyung since I didn’t manage to get in touch with him today. When it’s all over we’ll start all over as Shinhwa again.”
Andy made his debut with Shinhwa in 1998, which went on to become the longest-running idol group in Korea. He released his first solo album in 2008 and also produced for newcomer duo Jumper. Just prior to enlisting, Andy also released a digital single titled ‘Saranghana’ as a gift to the fans.
Source: Newsen + Star News + Edaily + Asia Economy + Absolut Shinhwa