From left, KARA members Kang Ji-young, Nicole, Park Gyu-lee, Han Seung-yeon and Gu Hara. [DSP Media]
Four of the five members of top Korean girl group KARA -- namely Han Seung-yeon, Kang Ji-young, Nicole and Gu Hara -- have decided to terminate their exclusive contract with their management agency DSP Media.
Through a press release issued on Wednesday, the girls' legal representative Hong Myung-ho of law firm Landmark said, "KARA is notifying DSP of their intention of terminating their exclusive contract with the agency so DSP must immediately halt its management of them."
The four girls then pointed out their "irreparable trust" in DSP as the largest issue, saying they were "used only as a tool for making money."
The agency made decisions regarding the girls' entertainment-related activities without prior discussion with them and repeatedly refused to present them with explanations or information they requested for, they explained.
Attorney Hong told 10Asia over the phone that the girls' decision goes into effect starting today, meaning they no longer represent them and will not be able to sign any type of new contract regarding them.
He added that the girls will discuss with DSP on how to deal with contracts regarding their activities they are currently bound to, although there is no chance of them returning to DSP. "There will be no going back for them -- they are leaving them for good."
DSP has yet to remark officially on the girls' decision, saying they have "just received the notification" and are looking into the issue.
Fans and the entertainment industry are questioning the future of the girl group since member Park Gyu-lee has not joined the girls in their move and both an official close to the four girls and attorney Hong declined to comment on Park.
KARA has been one of the most popular girl groups in Korea since making their debut with their first album "Blooming" in 2007. They have released several singles and albums containing their hits "Pretty Girl," "Wanna" and "Lupin."
The quintet then expanded their career to Japan in August last year after signing with Universal Music Sigma, a branch of Universal Music group, which too has been a success.
They were named best new artist of the year at the 25th annual Japan Gold Disc Award, have placed at No. 1 on the Oricon chart's listing for the most successful new artist of 2010, and Oricon also named them the most promising artist of 2011.
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