Rain at last! K-pop star released from army
SOUTH Korean pop icon Rain was officially released from mandatory military service yesterday, with hundreds of fans shedding tears of joy over the star's comeback.
About 700 devotees from South Korea and abroad exploded into ecstatic cheers as the 31-year-old star emerged from the defence-ministry building in Seoul, where he had gone to receive his discharge papers.
Some banner-carrying fans, weary from camping out overnight in the rain, burst into tears as the star walked out wearing a military uniform.
"Thank you all for coming to welcome me. I'll do my best. I love you all," Yonhap news agency quoted the singer as saying, as he gave fans a military salute.
Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji Hoon, is one of the biggest names in the world of K-pop, which commands a huge following across much of Asia and beyond.
In January, he was confined to barracks for a week after he was caught sneaking out to meet a love interest while on official duty.
He was dating Kim Tae Hee, a South Korean TV star with a massive following in Japan.
Celebrities are frequently caught attempting to evade military service for fear they might be forgotten by their fans.
South Korean men are obligated to serve about two years in the country's armed forces.