Extraordinary Attorney Woo's Kang Tae-oh may enlist for military service as soon as August

The 28-year-old actor has to enlist by the end of the year for 18 months. PHOTO: KTO940620/INSTAGRAM

SEOUL - K-drama actor Kang Tae-oh, who has seen his star rising after Extraordinary Attorney Woo became a sleeper hit, may have to take a break from show business to serve his mandatory military service.

The 28-year-old has to enlist by the end of the year for 18 months and has yet to receive official notification. According to his agency, Man of Creation, he may be called up as soon as August or September.

In an article by entertainment portal Allkpop on Friday (July 29), his agency also said that he had originally wanted to apply to the marines or the underwater demolition team. However, as these require applicants to take certification exams, he will likely enlist instead as a regular active duty soldier.

Kang's portrayal of lawyer Lee Joon-ho in Extraordinary Attorney Woo has won the hearts of viewers in the hit drama, which also saw lead actress Park Eun-bin gain popularity since it began airing on June 29.

Park, who plays a young female lawyer with Asperger's syndrome, and Kang have become fan favourites due to their on-screen romance and chemistry.

The drama, which is about halfway through its 16 episodes, airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays in South Korea and streams weekly on Netflix.

It has been in Netflix's top 10 chart for non-English-language series globally for the past two weeks and claimed a 13.1 per cent share of the South Korean television audience last Thursday, according to Nielsen Korea data in a report on entertainment portal Variety. The drama had kicked off its first episode with an audience share of just 0.95 per cent.

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