Hi everyone, and welcome back to another edition of Week in Review. Here’s the news you need to know:
- South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-se notably excluded mention of the comfort women issue in a speech to the UNHCR on Wednesday. This falls in line with the latest agreement with Japan, where Japanese government-supported fund for surviving comfort women was traded for avoiding talking about the matter at international forums.
Debuts & Comebacks
- AOA leader Jimin has released another collaboration track, this time the cute “Call You Bae” with Exo‘s Xiumin.
- Girl group Bloomy finally has a proper MV for their debut single, “Because of You.”
- Singer Heyne has teamed up with Chul Gu for “Mamma.”
- Red Velvet‘s Wendy is the next SM Station artist, releasing a duet with Eric Nam: “Spring Love.”
- New group KNK debuted with “Knock.”
- The EXID sub-unit formerly known as Dasoni is back with “Only One.”
Teasers & Announcements
- Day6 member Junhyeok has left the group. While JYP Entertainment has only cited ‘personal reasons’ for his departure, there is speculation that fandom disapproval over his closeness with a person (rumoured to be his girlfriend) who leaked information about the group was the impetus for this decision.
- Meanwhile, EXID’s agency Yedang Entertainment has changed its name to Banana Culture, following its partnership with Chinese agency Banana Project.
- A Cube Entertainment, home of A Pink and Huh Gak, is also changing its name after being acquired by Loen Entertainment. The company will now be known as Plan A Entertainment.
- Over at Cube Entertainment, the agency parted ways with soloist G.na.
- On the other end of the spectrum, Jessica has officially joined Tyler Kwon-owned Coridel Entertainment as she prepares for her solo debut.
- Lee Hi has released teasers for her upcoming half album Seoulite. Of the two title tracks — “Hold My Hand” and “Breathe” — the latter has been gaining extra attention for being written by Shinee‘s Jonghyun.
- Leading up to Fiestar‘s second mini album, the group has released an audio preview of the tracks.
- A Red Velvet comeback has been confirmed for March.
- Got7 will be making an aviation-themed comeback on the 21st.
- Ravi‘s mixtape is still happening, and he is holding a two-day concert to celebrate.
- Brand New Music girl group Miss $ has released the MV teaser for “영혼없이 말하지마.”
- Hyomin keeps teasing her comeback on Instagram, with the latest reveal being Nam Goong-min starring in her MV.
- Rookie boyband Snuper teased their sophomore mini-album Platonic Love.
- The line-up for this April’s Kcon Japan-cum-M!Countdown special has been revealed: AOA, Winner and Day6 will perform, with Supernova‘s Yoon Hak and ex-Kara member Seungyeon hosting.
- JJCC will be coming back sans Prince Mak as he recovers from a severe ear infection.
- I keep pinching myself over this Seo In-guk comeback; but these MV teasers show that “Seasons of the Heart” is an actual song that he will be releasing. I can’t wait!!
- The recent Bolivian constitutional referendum — on the matter of allowing the current president and vice-president run for another consecutive term in office beyond the legislated maximum — has seen a number of invalid ballots call instead for BTS to be brought to perform in the country. It is not clear how many of the alleged 262,175 invalid/blank ballots (approximately 5%) are being attributed to BTS fans. The referendum was voted down by a narrow margin.
- Kang Dong-wan is planning to take legal action over rumours that he is dating Jung Ryeo-won.
- Hwang Jung-eum tied the knot with golfer Lee Young-don last weekend. Congrats to the couple!
- Eurovision will have at least one Korean performer entering this year… though for another country. X Factor Australia winner Dami Im will be repping the land down under in Sweden.
(Coridel Entertainment, Daum, Facebook, The Fact, Instagram, JYP Entertainment, Korea Herald, Mwave, Órgano Electoral Plurinacional, Newsen, Osen, Reuters, Twitter, Xsports News, Yonhap, YouTube]. Images via: SM Entertainment, Yonhap, JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment, C-JeS Entertainment)