Actor Hyun Bin shouts before joining the Marine Corps training camp in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, Monday, to begin his 21-month military service.
/ Korea Times photo by Lee Sung-duk
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Heartthrob actor Hyun Bin, 29, joined the Marine Corps training camp in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, Monday, to begin his 21-month military service.
Hyun gained popularity after playing Kim Ju-won in the recent television soap opera “Secret Garden” and two movies released in February, “Late Autumn” and “Come Rain, Come Shine.”
He held a short press conference before entering the training center.
"I received so much love from fans from around the end of last year. I don't know how to express my gratitude," Hyun said. "I will spend my two years in the army well and repay my fans."
He took off his cap and showed his new haircut and bowed deeply to fans with tears in his eyes, before entering the camp.
Some 500 fans, including some from Japan, China and other countries came to the camp to bid farewell to the actor.
Hyun's enlistment with the Marine Corps has been drawing public attention as some celebrities shun their military duties through illegal means.
His agency AM Entertainment said the actor did not want to join the Army’s entertainment unit and chose to apply for the Marine Corps by himself as he has a sound image as an actor and had a good impression of the Marines.
Hyun will receive seven weeks of basic training before starting his 21 months of service. His discharge is set for Dec. 6, 2012.
Meanwhile, Lee Jae-won, 31, a former member of hit K-pop group H.O.T, was released from his unit in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province and four other members of the group greeted him with some 400 fans.
Actor Lee Jin-wook, 30, was also released from his military service. Lee is known for starring in the drama “Air City” (2007) and dating hallyu, or Korean wave, star Choi Ji-woo.