Despite the recent release of the group's fourth studio album "Full Bloom," KARA fans received surprising news in the past week when rumours began to surface that member Nicole would be leaving the group.
On Sunday, representatives of KARA's agency DSPmedia finally announced that the rumours were indeed true and that Nicole had expressed her intention not to renew her contract with the agency. It added that she would officially end her activities as a member at the beginning of next year. The agency had initially denied the rumours.
"Nicole will be leaving the group after her contract expires in January," a press release from DSPmedia said, adding, "However, the remaining girls will continue to perform at home and abroad without adding new members."
It also went on to state that members Goo Ha-ra, Park Gyu-ri and Han Seung-yeon had all come to an agreement to extend their contracts. Member Ji-young, however, has yet to make her final decision.
KARA's youngest member Ji-young is reportedly in the process of deciding whether she should continue her career as an entertainer or focus on her studies. The agency claims that her uncertainty over renewal does not reflect her discontent as a member of KARA, nor a desire to join another group. The agency said the 19-year-old was struggling with the decision on whether to leave the industry for the time being.
Despite the possibility of another band mate leaving KARA, representatives of the agency said that they had no plans to find any replacement members, meaning that the current five-member group could become a trio from the beginning of next year.