K-pop idol Taemin to return after military discharge
K-pop idol Taemin to return after military discharge Image Credit: Twitter/SHINee

South Korean singer Taemin, a member of the K-pop band SHINee, is ready to return after his military discharge, and his fans could not be more excited.

The band tweeted about Lee Tae-min’s return, expected on April 4, in a recent Twitter post. Ever since then, Shawols, a name given to fans of the band, have been counting down the days to his return, causing his name to trend on the micro-blogging site.

“Just a few more hours till Taemin can TaemOUT of army,” wrote his fan @choistrings.

SHINee has one of the most popular K-pop songs in Korea titled ‘Ring Ding Dong’. Reports say that the song is so catchy that it apparently distracts students from their studies, so much so that some educators have banned it from being played.

Conscription (compulsory enlistment for state service) is mandatory for all 'able-bodied' South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 – they are obligated to serve in the military, with no exceptions made for even the biggest K-pop stars. Taemin first enlisted in the military on May 31, 2021.

Many singers nowadays return to their bands after serving approximately 18 to 22 months of duty.

On Monday, hashtag #D1태민 trended on Twitter.

While ‘D1’ refers to the number of days left for Taemin’s return, 태민 is his name in Korean language or Hangeul.

The 29-year-old singer, under the South Korean entertainment agency, SM Entertainment, is the maknae of the boy band. Maknae is a word used in Korean communities to refer to the youngest person in a group. In K-pop, a group's maknae will often be babied, teased, and doted on by their fellow members.

The tweet also showed a second photo of the singer during a live performance of the song, ‘Better Days’.

Fans said that the photo might imply ‘better days’ for Taemin and shawols as he returns to his musical career.

The singer’s new cat also found internet fame, after its photos were posted on the same Twitter thread.