DKZ’s Kyoungyoon leaves the group months after JMS cult controversy

Kyoungyoon of DKZ has officially left the group, months after his parents’ affiliation with the controversial South Korean cult JMS was made public.

The boyband’s agency, Dongyo Entertainment, published a statement yesterday (August 7) announcing Kyoungyoon’s departure from the band and plans for DKZ moving forward. “Since last April, Kyoungyoon has been on a temporary hiatus due to health reasons and has been focusing on getting sufficient treatment. Afterwards, Kyoungyoon’s health condition recovered a lot, and he had an in-depth discussion with the agency for a long time about the direction of his future activities,” the post read, as translated by Soompi

Dongyo Entertainment then wrote that Kyoungyoon will be “wrap[ping] up his activities with DKZ and enlist within the year to fulfil his military duties”. Although the statement does not mention the controversy regarding his parents’ involvement with JMS, the company wrote that “regardless of the reason, Kyoungyoon feels responsible for causing concern to fans as well as to the members. We will provide unsparing support so that Kyoungyoon can greet fans in good health in the future.”

Kyoungyoon himself also addressed his departure from the group with a letter that same day. “For the past five months, I spent a lot of time contemplating. After thinking about what would be the best option for all the people I care about, I came to the conclusion that I should let go of DKZ’s Kyoungyoon,” he wrote, per Soompi, adding that he hopes his fans will be able to understand his decision. “I hope everyone will stay healthy and be happier than anyone else until the day I can stand in front of you in good health.”

In March this year, Kyoungyoon’s parents’ affiliation with the JMS cult was made public in the documentary In The Name of God: A Holy Betrayal. At the time, the idol himself came forward to share that he was a victim of the JMS cult, detailing his experiences of growing up with the religion and the cult’s practices without awareness of its illicit activities behind the scenes. Kyoungyoon also stated that he left the cult for good after finding out about the truth behind it.

DKZ, who changed their name from DONGKIZ last year, are now left with five members, Jaechan, Jonghyeong, Giseok, Mingyu and Sehyeon. Their last release was the repackaged album ‘Harmony’, which they put out in April.

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