Fans can't celebrate three BigBang members' army discharge because of African swine fever

G-Dragon (left) enlisted in February 2018 while Taeyang (centre) and Daesung did so in March that year.
G-Dragon (left) enlisted in February 2018 while Taeyang (centre) and Daesung did so in March that year.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Hundreds of fans turned up with banners and balloons at a centre in April when South Korean actor Lee Min-ho wrapped up his two years of mandatory military service.

Lee, visibly moved by the support for his return to civilian life, bowed to the crowd.

Now, other fans who want to extend the same raucous welcome - to BigBang stars G-Dragon, Taeyang and Daesung - have hit a bump.

They have been told not to show up.

The three singers are expected to be released from their military stints in October and November.

G-Dragon enlisted in February 2018 while the other two did so in March that year.

According to the allkpop portal, their agency YG Entertainment has told people to stay away because the singers' camp is in a place where African swine fever has been reported.

Cases have been detected in pig farms near the country's border with North Korea, which reported an outbreak in May.

In a bid to curtail the spread of the virus, YG noted that the military base has ramped up quarantine initiatives, including keeping a lid on people entering the area.

The trio's upcoming discharge was expected by pundits to be high-profile events, given the stature of BigBang in K-pop.

 
 
 
 

In 2018, YG even had to appeal to fans of G-Dragon not to send him e-mail.

It said then that since the message had to be printed out and handed over to the soldier, the volume of e-mail to G-Dragon was proving an unnecessary distraction and additional chore for administrative staff in the base.

But even as the group's members are set to finish their military stints, there is still uncertainty over the future of BigBang.

Seungri earlier this year existed the group when he was said to have procured prostitutes for would-be investors of his businesses, among other allegations.

G-Dragon, who is slated to be discharged on Oct 26, recently posted online: "Live for yourself. It's not the end of the world without you."

That cryptic message has been interpreted by some fans as his intention perhaps to explore other aspects of show business, including fashion.

They could have asked him directly on Oct 26 about his plans but African swine fever has now shot down that possibility.