Why is Kangin Leaving Super Junior? Scandal-Hit K-Pop Star Quits Group after 14 Years

Fans of K-pop star Kangin have been left distraught after the singer announced he was leaving Super Junior after 14 years.

Kangin, 34, real name Kim Young-woon, announced the news on his Instagram on Thursday.

"I decided to leave behind the title, Super Junior, with which I spent a long time," he said.

View this post on Instagram

안녕하세요. 강인입니다. 정말 오랜만에 여러분들께 소식을 전하네요. 좋지 않은 소식이라 마음이 무겁지만 고심 끝에 글을 올립니다. 저는 이제 오랜 시간 함께했던 '슈퍼주니어'란 이름을 놓으려 합니다. 항상 멤버들에게는 미안한 마음뿐이었습니다 하루라도 빨리 결심하는 것이 맞다고 항상 생각해왔지만 못난 저를 변함 없이 응원해 주시는 분들과 회사 식구들이 마음에 걸려 쉽사리 용기 내지 못했고 그 어떤것도 제가 혼자 결정해서는 안된다는 생각도 했습니다 하지만 제 문제로 인해 겪지 않아도 될 일들을 겪는 멤버들을 지켜보면서 더 이상 늦춰서는 안되겠다는 판단을 하게 되었습니다. 무엇보다 14년이란 오랜 시간 동안 언제나 과분한 사랑을 주신 E.L.F. 여러분들께 가장 죄송한 마음입니다. 많이 늦었지만 슈퍼주니어란 이름을 내려놓고 홀로 걷는 길에도 항상 미안함과 고마움을 가슴에 새기고 나아가겠습니다. 끝까지 저를 배려해 준 멤버들과 회사 식구분들께 정말 감사하다는 말씀 드리고 싶습니다. 언제나 슈퍼주니어가 승승장구하기를 응원하겠습니다. 감사합니다.

A post shared by 강인 (@kanginnim) on

"I have been all too sorry for other members ... but couldn't make up my mind quickly due to people who steadfastly support me," he said. "But I finally decided that this decision cannot be further delayed while watching the members suffering unnecessary issues because of my trouble," Kangin added.

Kangin has left Super Junior after 14 years with the K-pop group. Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

The South Korean singer has been embroiled in a number of scandals since joining Super Junior in 2005. In September 2009, he was involved in a fight between two men that took place outside a bar in the country's capital, Seoul.

One month later, he was arrested for driving under the influence and crashing his car into a parked taxi. He was indicted for drunk driving hit-and-run and fined ₩8 million ($6,810). SM Entertainment, the record label behind Super Junior, canceled his public activities until the end of the year. Kangin was later indicted for driving under the influence a second time in May 2016.

In November 2017 the singer was accused of drunkenly assaulting a woman at a bar. As the victim decided not to press charges against Kangin, he only received a warning from police and wasn't officially charged.

The graph below, provided by Statista, shows the top 10 best-selling K-pop artists.

k-pop sales statista
The best-selling K-pop stars. Statista

Fans expressed their sadness over Kangin's departure on social media. One person on Twitter said: "i never lost hope of seeing them complete but now it's far gone from reality, i must accept & respect our Kangin,he suffered alot & if he thinks it's the best i'll support him, i want him to move forward but it breaks my heart, really 14 years of love for you & forever"

Another wrote: "sorry for not being able to protect you #kangin it's so hard for you, I know that. but for me you will always be a super junior member no matter what #staystrongELF this is not first time for us, it's okay to cry."

"Best of luck for your future, @Himsenkangin. You'll be missed as one of our tears, happiness, memories." another added.

The news means only 10 members remain of Super Junior, Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun.

The group first came to prominence with 2009 single "Sorry, Sorry," and would go on to become the best-selling K-pop act for four years in a row. They have released eight albums in Korea, the last of which was 2017's Play.

Why is Kangin Leaving Super Junior? Scandal-Hit K-Pop Star Quits Group after 14 Years | Culture