Korean star Lee Joon Ki discharged from military

KOREAN wave star Lee Joon Ki, who gained huge popularity in Korea and other Asian countries for his starring role in the hit movie "The King and the Clown" (2005), returned to his fans Thursday morning after completing his two-year military service.

"I was able to spend the past two gem-like years in my life. I think I enjoyed my life in the military," Lee told about 1,000 fans who waited for him in front of the Ministry of Defense in Yongsan, central Seoul. He was there to report his discharge from military duty to the ministry.

"I learned many things in the Army. I was able to find values that I used to forget in my daily life," he added. Most of his enthusiastic fans who gathered in front of the ministry gate were from Japan, with those from China and Hong Kong also in the crowd, according to reports.

The 30-year-old star went straight to his first official fan meeting at Sangmyeong University in Seoul later in the afternoon. About 1,500 fans were expected to attend the event, according to IMX, Lee's agency.

Lee joined the military on May 3, 2010 and served in the Army's public relations department for two years. Korean celebrities who join the Army usually work at making military films or performing in concerts organized for service members.

After "The King and the Clown" Lee went on to act in hit TV dramas including "Iljimae," "Time between Dog and Wolf" and "My Girl."

Lee is expected to make his return to television soon.