J-Hope of the K-pop supergroup BTS began military service Tuesday to become the second member of the group to do so.

The 29-year-old entered an Army boot camp in Wonju, 87 kilometers southeast of Seoul, to begin five weeks' basic training.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men are required to serve in the military for about two years.

A black minivan, believed to be carrying him, passed through the main gate at about 1:53 p.m. with some other band members and staff members from the band's agency reportedly traveling in four to five other vehicles to bid him farewell.

He headed directly to the precincts of the camp without getting out of the car or holding a separate event for fans and reporters.

Fans, who were waiting in a drizzling spring rain to catch a glimpse of their favorite star, expressed disappointment when they saw the minivan drive past without stopping.

To prevent possible congestion, the military and police strictly controlled all vehicles passing through the gate. About 30 to 40 journalists were also waiting to cover the K-pop star's arrival, but authorities cordoned off the road leading to the main gate.

Some reporters from foreign media held hours of live streams using smartphones that they installed outside the control line to cover the news.

However, contrary to the enthusiasm of the journalists, there were only about 10 fans gathered, apparently due to the bad weather conditions and the agency's prior announcement that there would be no separate ceremony.

He will become the second BTS member to enroll in the military, following the oldest member, Jin, who began his military service in December.

J-Hope took to Hybe's Weverse fan community platform to share with fans a message and a photo of himself giving a salute with a buzz cut on Monday night.

"I love you all. ARMY, I will return safely," he wrote, addressing the band's global fandom by name.

A bus covered with a message of support for BTS member J-Hope and a photo of him, which is believed to be sent by the band's fandom, ARMY, is parked outside an Army boot camp in Wonju, 87 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on April 18, 2023. J-Hope entered the camp to begin his mandatory military service that day.

ParkJun Ha