K-Pop’s Day Off: Meet the South Korean Pop Stars in Trouble for Playing Hookie

Published January 18, 2019

Though they’ve garnered an infatuated throng of fans the world over, a number of K-Pop stars have recently gotten in trouble with the South Korean school system, having their degrees revoked by Dongshin University. Located 190 miles outside Seoul, the university claims that their star students haven’t attended enough classes, presumably because they were too busy recording music and touring the globe. Who are these K-Pop Ferris Buellers, and what exactly have they been up to on their days off?

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CHU GA-YEOUL:

At 50 years old, Chu Ga-Yeoul is a renowned South Korean folk singer-songwriter known for his guitar skills and sweet serenades. Ga-Yeoul was appointed as an adjunct professor to Dongshin University’s applied music department, despite not having had a bachelor’s degree at the time. He enrolled in classes at the university to earn his degree while teaching, though classes conflicted with his hectic touring schedule.

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LEE GI-KWANG, YONG JUN-HYUNG, YOON DOO-JOON, AND JANG HYUN-SEUNG

Three members of the popular K-Pop boyband Highlight, formerly known as BEAST, and their former bandmate, each had their degrees revoked by Dongshin University. In addition to making music, the band has been keeping busy as the brand ambassadors of the South Korean duty free retailer The Shilla Duty Free. They kicked off the launch of Shilla’s new store, Beauty & You, with a concert at the Hong Kong International Airport last June. One of Highlight’s singers, Yong Jun-Hyung, has had a guest spot on the popular romance drama Coffee, Do Me A Date, in which he plays a “cranky webtoon artist.” But several of the pop icons are choosing to leave the world of entertainment entirely; current Highlight member Lee Gi-Kwang, and former BEAST member Jang Hyunseung, have decided to enlist in the military, according to some reports. After releasing his solo digital single Home, a source from Cube Entertainment said Hyunseung would “quietly enlist” on July 24, refusing to reveal the time and location.

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SEO EUN-KWANG AND YOOK SUNG-JAE 

A seeming trend: Set Eun-Kwang, of popular boy group BTOB, also enlisted to join the military, as of August 2018. Eun-Kwang was the first member of BTOB to enlist, with Lee Chang-Sub and Kang Min-Hyuk following suit. Meanwhile, Yook Sung-Jae has been doing the noble work of recording himself live for 12 hours straight in a marathon broadcast after after losing a bet.