20160105_seoulbeats_comfortwomanstatue_jungyeonje_afp_gettyimagesHappy (belated) New Year, folks! Here is your update on news from the turn of the year.

Serious News

  • The issue of institutionalised sexual slavery by Imperial Japan AKA the ‘comfort women’ issue is in the news again, in a big way. South Korea and Japan recently reached a resolution wherein the Japanese would issue a formal apology and set up a state-run fund for Korea’s remaining 46 survivors. However, the survivors and supporters have opposed the deal, fearing that the whitewashing of the issue may occur in South Korea’s state-imposed textbooks, as part of the deal. Reports that the removal of the Comfort Women statues was required for the fund to become available has cast doubt on what was initially seen as a historic and final deal.

Debuts & Comebacks

  • A rookie group that just happens to be named after yours truly, Pretty Brown, released the MV for “No Other Like Him” featuring Phantom‘s Hanhae.
  • Drama award ceremonies returned for another year, with some surprising results:
    • Kim Soo-hyun (The Producers) and Go Dum-shin (Please, Momshared the KBS daesang.
    • Yong-pal star Joo-won took out the SBS daesang.
    • The MBC daesang went to Kill Me, Heal Me‘s Ji Sung.
    • The couple awards were notable for their irregularity: while Ji Sung and Park Seo-joon claimed the honour at MBC, KBS surprised everyone awarded the Producer threesome of Gong Hyo-jin, Kim Soo-hyun and Cha Tae-hyun.
  • The Gayo Daejuns also took place, as they do every year. You can read our thoughts on the SBS and KBS festivals; the MBC round-up will be next!

20160105_seoulbeats_exok_baekhyun_missa_suzyTeasers & Announcements

  • Vixx‘s Ravi is releasing a mixtape. Will it make Starlights cringe or will it pleasantly surprise? Only one way to find out…
  • KBS has released the teaser for Suzy and Kim Woo-bin‘s upcoming drama, Uncontrollably Fond. I’m Kim Woo-bin trash, so I’ll be tuning for sure: how about you?
  • Suzy will also be releasing a duet with Exo‘s Baekhyun. Look out for “Dream” on the 7th!
  • It seems that Kara members GyuriHara and Seungyeon may not renew their contracts with DSP Media. 
  • Meanwhile, Cube seems to be preparing an new male group, Pentagon, for debut.
  • The now 4-membered Dal Shabet has been teasing their comeback (with the MV dropping just a few hours ago).
  • Sulli has been confirmed to co-star with Kim Soo-hyun in action noir film Real.
  • Lee Min-jung has been confirmed to co-star with Rain in Come Back Ajusshi.
  • Yoo In-na is the latest actress to be ‘uglified’ as part of her role. Will you be watching One More Happy Ending?
  • SMRookies‘ Yuta has left Abnormal Summit, leading to talk about SM Entertainment possibly debuting a new boy group soon.

Other News

  • 20150105_seoulbeats_jyj_junsu_exid_hani_dispatchThe first day of 2015 has given us a new idol couple: JYJ’s Junsu and EXID’s Hani. Dispatch stalked them on a date in early December, but saved the news for New Years’ just like they did with Lee Seung-gi and Yoona. The response so far has been positive, though people worry about Junsu’s upcoming military service. But we can worry about crossing that bridge when we come to it. Congrats to the couple!
  • HanSu wasn’t the only New Year couple, though, with MC Jang Dong-min revealing his relationship with singer Navi on a tvN variety show. Rumours about the two had been circulating for a while, leading to other guests on the show to ask the two, who were also guests, about the nature of their relationship.
  • Psy has been named as the biggest star of 2015 by the Corea Image Communication Institute. He will receive the institute’s Stepping Stone award in a ceremony next month. Congrats to the star on the award, especially considering his comeback was only a month ago.

(Dispatch, The Korea Times[cw][jdm][psy], Newsen[1][2], Osen[d], Sports Chosun, Star News[k], The Telegraph, X Sports News,  Yonhap News. Images via: KBS, Jung Yeon-je, SM Entertainment, Dispatch)