SEOUL • With mandatory military service over, members of 14-year-old boy band Super Junior can now rejoin the battle to be South Korea's best.
But the fight to take on more recent upstarts such as BTS will see their label going for a nine-member Super Junior, minus Kangin and Sungmin.
The nine will work on a new album, while Kangin and Sungmin will pursue solo projects.
The news has not gone down well with some netizens.
They suspect Sungmin is excluded because he married actress Kim Sa-eun and is now "unattainable" by fans harbouring romantic fantasies of their idols.
But the wedding took place in 2014 and they feel that he should not be "punished" by the label still.
In Kangin's case, the netizens feel he should be kicked out of Super Junior entirely, given his track record of drink-driving and alleged girlfriend abuse.
But the new album would please fans in Singapore, who voiced their loud roar of approval when Super Junior performed as a six-man group at the HallyuPopFest here last month.