By Han Sang-hee
Singer and rapper Psy has finally returned from his military service.
The 31-year-old singer was re-drafted into the military as active duty after it was found that he neglected his duties during his previous service from 2003-2005. He began his second tern in August 2007.
``It's like a dream and I am so happy,'' he said at the Ministry of National Defense in Yongsan, Seoul.
After being congratulated by fellow celebrity soldiers including singers Tony An and Kim Jae-deok, and actor Kim Jae-won, Psy added that he ``realized that time always passes, and I learned a lot.''
He also joked that despite having participated in two separate military services, he had not lost much weight.
Referring to his second service, Psy said that he had learned a lot indeed.
``For the past two years, I think I went through a lot as a person. I had all kinds of emotions, but they came down to one: gratitude. I thank my seniors, juniors, my fans who have been waiting all these years, my wife, my two little girls and also the world,'' he said.
The singer has twin daughters who were born two months before he was sent to his second duty.
``Whenever I came to visit during vacation, they didn't recognize me. I think the first thing for me to do is to help them learn that I'm their dad,'' said Psy.
Famous for his comical and sometimes controversial lyrics, the singer will soon return to the stage.
``I will be appearing as a guest at Kim Jang-hoon's concert in Busan next week. Kim took care of me and supported me during my service. I don't know how I will do it specifically, but I want to meet fans for the first time through my music,'' he said.
Many fellow singers are currently serving the country, including singers An, Kang Ta, and Sung Si-kyung, and Psy didn't forget to give them a word of support before leaving.
``Normally, many celebrities start their military services at an older age. There is a part that they have to endure, as they are older (than fellow soldiers). But I believe they will do well. The time will come if you wait,'' he said.
Meanwhile, the singer will soon receive the Army Chief of Staff Award from the Republic of Korea Army for his dedication during his service.
Along with Sung, Psy was recognized for his participation in various military events, including music performances, and for lifting his fellow soldiers' spirits.