Park Jeong-su, better known to K-Pop fans as Leeteuk, charismatic leader of Hallyu group Super Junior, enlisted in the military on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.
For months, Leeteuk's enlistment was highly anticipated by Korean and international ELFs, as Super Junior's fans are known. The charming singer/host announced early 2012 that he would be enlisting in the military before the end of 2012. This announcement prepared his fans accordingly, bidding farewell during Super Junior's sojourns around the Asian region, promising to stay strong and deliver better music upon his release in 2014.
Leeteuk's easy-going and talkative nature made him a delight on television. Best-known for replacing Kang Ho Dong as the host of "Star King," Leeteuk was also the regular host of the radio show "Super Junior's 'Kiss the Radio,'" with Super Junior's principal dancer Eunhyuk. Leeteuk was also a regular guest on "Strong Heart," where he presents the special segment, "Teukigayo," alongside Eunhyuk and Shindong. For a time, he also hosted "MBC Enjoy Today" and "Love Chaser." Leeteuk also left good memories from his television shows, including "We Got Married," where he figured in a make-believe marriage to actress Kang Sora, "Challenge Golden Ladder," "Challenge! Good Song," and "Idol Show."
The ELFs will surely miss their leader but on the bright side, Leeteuk's advanced preparation ensures that he won't be completely out of sight, at least for the first month or so. He filmed "Strong Heart," the variety show on which he was a permanent member, weeks in advance, so he will still be on the show for a few more weeks after his enlistment. The mandatory two-year military service is a South Korean requirement of its young male citizens.
Catherine Deen lives, eats and breathes Korean music, cuisine, telenovelas, and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter @cathsdeen.