The EXO guys aren’t just bandmates; they’re brothers. As beloved member D.O. (aka Doh Kyung-soo) prepared to enter the South Korean military on July 1, he got major support from the other boys, including Yixing! The band posted a sweet pic to Instagram on June 30, captioned “We are one EXO,” that showed them giving love to D.O., who had a shaved head for his military enlistment. And fans were delighted when they spotted Yixing (aka Lay Zhang), who is currently performing as a solo artist in China, making this their first group photo featuring the singer in three years. Yixing couldn’t miss seeing D.O. before this important and brave, life-changing moment.
EXO were even more emotional after finding out that Yixing actually only came to South Korea for 24 hours to see D.O. off. Video taken at Incheon Airport later that day shows Yixing racing through the terminal to catch a flight back to China! How sweet is that? Tons of fans reposted the video, writing loving things like, “i never want to hear anyone say yixing doesn’t care about exo EVER. this man has so much love for his brothers that he took a flight to korea for one day in the middle of concert prep just to send kyungsoo off and be with them… he is one of a kind.” Another fan wrote, “a busy man making time for his family. Thank you, Yixing.”
One adorable fan tweeted, “omg I’m crying… Yixing at Incheon running for his flight straight after he sent Kyungsoo off… this is what you call family… always. we are one.” The story of Yixing’s temporary leave from EXO is complicated. Yixing, who is Chinese, went back to his home country, where he is pursing a solo career, amid rising tensions between China and South Korea in 2016. The problems began when South Korea announced plans with the United States to build a missile shield system to protect themselves from North Korea. Feeling threatened by the missiles, China hit back by banning all K-pop and hallyu in the country. The ban was partially lifted in 2018, but Yixing hasn’t been back to South Korea since.
D.O. began his military enlistment on July 1; he’ll go through basic training for five weeks, and end his service on June 25, 2020. He’s the second EXO member to enter the South Korean military. Xiumin entered service on May 7. South Korea has conscription, requiring all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 28 to enlist in the military. The other EXO members have not done their compulsory service yet.