SEOUL: K-pop star Kang Daniel will take a break from recording and promotion activities due to his worsening mental health, his management agency said on Wednesday (Nov 4), amid a growing debate about the intense pressure South Korea’s artists face.
The former member of the boy band Wanna One had posted a series of messages in his fan cafe about the hateful comments and abuse he receives from people, according to South Korean media.
Kang's agency Konnect Entertainment said he had was undergoing treatment for depression and panic disorder.
“Starting from the first half of the year, Kang Daniel visited the hospital after experiencing poor health due to a weak immune system as well as psychological anxiety,” the agency said in a statement on Kang's official website.
“After a detailed examination, he was diagnosed with depression and panic disorder."
He was given treatment with psychotherapy and medication, the agency added.
“Though Kang Daniel did his best to stay grounded and not falter in a constantly changing environment despite his state, he recently expressed more severe symptoms of anxiety. Thus, we reached the conclusion that sufficient rest and stability is of the highest priority for the artist’s health and safety," the statement said.
The agency added that Kang’s pre-recording for MBC Music’s Snow Champion had been cancelled as it was “not possible for him to carry out his upcoming activities normally”, warning that it might be difficult for the K-pop star to promote his new digital single Touchin.
"We will take all measures possible for Kang to recover to full health, and we will once again keep in mind the responsibility given to an agency to protect its artist," the agency added.
It asked people to refrain from further speculation about Kang's health and future activities.
Kang was a former member of the 11-member Wanna One that went on to become one of the biggest K-pop acts after its debut in 2017. He went solo in 2018.
While South Korea's pop culture mostly projects a wholesome image on stage and screen, it has recently been marred by a series of deaths.
On Tuesday, South Korean actor Cha In-ha was found dead in his own home, the country's third young celebrity to die in the past two months.
Cha's death comes after a popular K-pop singer, Goo Hara, 28, was found dead at her home last month. She had been subjected to personal attacks on social media.