Singer Rain salutes his fans Tuesday at a military base in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, as he starts his 22-month mandatory military service. More than 1,000 domestic and foreign fans gathered there to say goodbye to him. / Yonhap
By Yun Suh-young
Korean pop star and actor Rain joined the military Tuesday amid farewells from his devoted fans.
“Thank you for coming. I’m sorry to make such a fuss while leaving. I’ll be back from my duties soon,” said Rain, Tuesday, to fans who came to see him enter a military base in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province.
Rain, 29, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, smiled throughout the farewell event thanking his fans for the love they have given him over the past 10 years.
More than 1,000 people crowded near the base to see Rain on his last day as a civilian, waiting for two and a half hours for him to appear.
Holding placards saying, “I will wait for you, Rain,” fans waited in front of the base from 10:30 a.m.
The meeting between Rain and his fans, however, only lasted five minutes.
The star’s popularity was far reaching.
A few hundred fans were from Asia — Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — and about 150 foreign and domestic journalists were also present at the scene, proving the star’s international popularity.
The foreign fans who came all the way to Korea to see the pop star burst into tears as the meeting ended quickly.
Rain will serve in the military for the next 22 months.