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[Newsmaker] Former Big Bang member Seungri to start military service March 9

Seungri appears at Seoul Central District Court on Jan. 13. (Yonhap)
Seungri appears at Seoul Central District Court on Jan. 13. (Yonhap)

Seungri, formerly of boy band Big Bang, will begin his mandatory military service on Monday.

According to reports, Seungri will go through a five-week training program at the 6th Infantry Division in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province. This is the same training facility bandmate Taeyang began his enlistment at in March 2018. Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, enlistment ceremonies have been suspended until further notice.

Some of Seungri’s close associates posted pictures of what seemed to be Seungri’s farewell party. DJ Glory of the label Natural High Records, of which Seungri was the head, posted on his Instagram Story a cake with “18” in candles, posting “Cheer up for 18 months.” A photo of Seungri saluting also went online.

Seungri was sent a notification of his mandatory service on Feb. 4, amidst an ongoing trial on several charges, including overseas gambling and arranging prostitution. The ongoing trial will be handed over to the military court system.

“We will work with the Prosecutors’ Office to have a fair and consistent trial. We will consider civil court results and progress in the case in conducting the trial,” the Military Manpower Administration had said in February.

Seungri will serve 18 months and seven days, with his discharge slated for Sept. 16, 2021.

By Lim Jang-won (