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No Mimi? Wonder Girls will go on
by Joy Fang

THINK the Wonder Girls are breaking up just because Sun Mi (center in picture above), better known to her fans as Mimi, has left the Korean pop group?

Fear not, she will be replaced with another singer, the Girls’ record label, JYP Entertainment, said last Friday.

Still, the sudden news of the bubbly 17-year-old’s departure has left fans reeling in shock.

Sun Mi had trained for 11/2 years before debuting as a member of the Wonder Girls – which includes Kim Yu Bin, 21; Park Ye Eun, 20; Min Sun Ye, 20; and Ahn So Hee, 17 – in 2007.

In its statement, JYP Entertainement said that the young star “has decided to postpone her musical career to pursue an academic career”.

Sun Mi said separately that she would like to resume her showbiz career after becoming a university student, reported The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korea newspaper.

“Being on stage and touring 50 cities in the United States in the past year was a happy and valuable experience, but I’m not sure I can continue to live like this in the future,” she said.

She told the agency that she would like to make a comeback, and is keen to take dancing and singing lessons in preparation for when she finishes university, said The Chosun Ilbo.

“We will also support Mimi if she chooses to return to singing after she completes her studies,” said JYP Entertainment.

In June last year, Sun Mi dropped out of high school, as did fellow member So Hee, to focus on the group’s American debut, where the Wonder Girls opened for the Jonas Brothers during their entire 45-show run.

Sun Mi will remain with the group until the end of next month, after which she will be replaced with 17-year-old Hae Lim, a trainee at JYP Entertainment, who is fluent in four languages: English, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Theatre lecturer Caleb Lee said he was saddened by Mimi’s imminent departure.

“The younger members of the group might get burnt out, both physically and emotionally, after a year or two of hectic schedules. I will still continue supporting the Wonder Girls though,” said the 26-year-old.

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