|Korean actor Kim Nam-gil makes a salute before entering the military on July 15, 2010. [Park Sung-ki/Asia Economic Daily]|
Actor Kim Nam-gil bid farewell to fans as he entered the Korean military today as part of fulfilling the country's mandatory army duties.
The actor, who arrived at Nonsan training camp in South Chungcheong Province around 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, was greeted at the site by some 300 local and overseas fans from China, Japan and Taiwan.
"My heart is fluttering now that I am here at the training camp," the actor told reporters before entering the military camp. "I can't feel it yet but I think it will hit me once I go in [to the military camp]... I think I will be able to rest freely."
When asked how he feels about his sudden departure, Kim replied, "I am disappointed that I was late in preparing for it because I found out the entrance date late... My preparation was too hasty."
Kim received a draft notice to enter the military by July 15 at the end of last month, while in the midst of shooting TV series "Bad Boy."
"I was with the 'Bad Boy' team until the end of the shoot," the actor explained. "We reduced the number of scenes that were necessary for the story and just shot them."
The 29-year-old actor also mentioned that he doesn't feel awkward about his short haircut, adding that his parents thought it made him look young.
"I am older than young people [who enter the military] so I might be at a disadvantage in terms of physical strength," Kim went onto say. "But it won't be hard during training because I am really into working out."
Kim will receive four weeks of basic training at Nonsan and then work as a public service worker for the next two years.
After apologizing to fans about his sudden military leave, the actor asked them, "You will wait for me, right?"
The fans responded with loud cheers and by making sign language motions translating into "You are the most beautiful. We love you."
Kim, 29, made his debut in 2003 and has appeared in notable dramas such as "Be Strong Geum Soon" (MBC, 2005), "Goodbye Solo" (KBS2, 2006) and "Lovers" (SBS, 2006).
He became a household name last year playing the role of Bidam in MBC's historical drama "Queen Seon-deok" alongside top Korean actress Ko Hyun-jung.
"Boy," which completed shooting on July 13, will air until early next month.