Alas, another week in K-pop land has come and gone. Thankfully, this week was relatively quiet as summer comebacks and announcements begin. Here’s a look at some of the news you might have msised while you were distracted by Minho‘s guns and drowning in everything that is Shinee (just me?):
- Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visited South Korea this past week. During his visit he stressed the potential of the Indian Market for South Korea investors. Korea’s soft power exports are already popular in India, but Modi also emphasized South Korean business investment in the region.
- United States Secretary of State, John Kerry also paid a visit to Seoul to meet with Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-Se. Kerry condemned North Korea’s recent execution of defense chief Hyon Yong-chol as well as their continued push for nuclear armament.
- Actor/Singer Yoo Seung-jun— who was exiled from South Korea 13 years ago for military service evasion — pleaded for forgiveness and the opportunity to return to his birth country via livestream. So far, the ministry remains unmoved.
- First grade students were asked to sign a suicide prevention pledge, which caused one parent to file a lawsuit against the school. While the intentions of the pledge are somewhat understood — South Korea some of the world’s most stressed students, making it no surprise that the number one cause of death among teenagers is suicide — parents were more concerned with the strange content of the pledge itself. This news also follows a failed government plan to monitor minors through social media as a means of curbing the teen suicide rate.
- Comedian Baek Jae-hyun was arrested for sexually assaulting another male at a sauna.
- Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has been appointed new Prime Minister by President Park Geun-hye. Hwang succeeds former Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo who resigned after bribery allegations arose last month.
Teasers and Annoucements
- Sistar is gearing up for a June comeback, so expect a flirty summer track.
- The final casting line-up for the 1988 edition of the Reply series was announced. This edition will feature Girl’s Day‘s Hyeri alongside Kyung Po and Park Bo-gum.
- DSP Media has begun releasing individual teasers for Kara’s upcoming Cupid comeback. Look for their new mini album on May 26th.
- Cha Seung-won will lend his voice to the upcoming film Minions (a spin-off of the Despicable Me films).
- CL has yet another collaboration with Diplo, this one titled “Dr Pepper” featuring Riff Raff and OG Maco. CL continues to make headway towards her American debut; following her performance at Ultra Music Festival and the announcement of the Diplo collab, CL also launched an official facebook page.
- Yoseob and Junhyung of Beast will release an OST track for fellow member Doojoon‘s drama Let’s Eat Season 2 titled “Why Didn’t You Know?” on June 2nd. In more Beast news, member Dongwoon will be making his Japanese debut this July.
- Lee Seung-gi is returning to the music scene after two and a half years with a new album on June 4th. Originally, his comeback announcement was made for April but was delayed.
- Rookie group CLC barely had time to rest between the wrap-up of their debut promotions for “Pepe” before promotions for “Eighteen” began in April. Now, Cube Entertainment has announced the group’s second mini album due out May 28th. Hopefully after this round of promotions the ladies will be awarded some much-deserved rest.
- 2PM‘s comeback has been re-scheduled to mid-June after complications with the MV filming — JYP also announced that they will be working with a new production company for MV filming attempt #2.
- Long teased — and potentially awaited — boy group Seventeen is set to officially debut on May 29th with 13 members.
- f(x)‘s Victoria will be acting in the Chinese adaption of My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Comebacks and Debuts
- After a one year seven month break from the Korean music scene, Shinee is finally back with the album Odd which dropped on May 18th. The MV for the title track “View” was released the following day and opened the door for a variety of fan interpretations. Interpretations aside, fans can agree on one thing Shinee finally escaped the SM box.
- Baek A Yeon has returned after two years with the track “Shouldn’t Have” featuring Younghyun.
- Zion.T released the MV for his new single “Eat” off his second album Comedian.
- Former JYP Entertainment and 2AM member, Suelong, has released his first solo EP titled, Normal. The pre-release MV for “Mood Swing” was released on the 19th. The teaser for title track “7E77 ME, B43Y” — or “Tell Me, Baby” — was released on May 22nd.
- FNC Entertainment‘s N.Flying hit the music scene this week with “Awesome.” The debut track’s accompanying music video features Seolhyun of AOA.
- K-indie band Standing Egg is back with a new mini album “Young” on May 22nd.
- Actor Ha Jung-woo is holding his second solo exhibition in New York. The new series titled “Friends” uses pop-art style portraiture to explore the lonely people of the city.
- The SM vs Luhan and Kris saga may finally be drawing to a close as Seoul courts have forced mediation between the two parties and also appointed an official court arbitrator. The court stressed that a decision must — and will — be met outside of court in a timely manner. In addition to forced arbitration, SM is also taking legal action against two China based companies who have used Luhan as an endorser post-contract nullification lawsuit. SM maintains that until the contract nullification is official, both Luhan and Kris are technically still members of Exo and contracted to SM Entertainment, making any outside profits unlawful.
- Shinhwa member Kim Dong-wan posted a photo of a sasaeng fan on his Instagram account after being relentlessly followed by the woman. However, he soon took the photo down, apologized and asked fans to stop attacking her after seeing the reactions his post was garnering.
- Hani (EXID) replaced Choa (AOA) on the live-stream show My Little Television.
- Big Bang is still sweeping the K-pop scene with “Loser” and “Bae Bae.” The group warned fans to brace themselves as they were only warming up in their May releases — they promise even better tracks come June.