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Korean entertainment scene mourns death of Astro member Moonbin

The Korean entertainment industry is in mourning following the death of Astro member Moonbin on Wednesday.

The boy band member, real name Moon Bin, was found dead by his manager on Wednesday night at around 8:10 p.m. at his residence in Gangnam District, southern Seoul. The police said the singer seems to have died in an apparent suicide, but investigations are ongoing. He was 25.

His fellow bandmate Cha Eun-woo is hurrying his return from the United States, according to Astro’s agency Fantagio on Thursday. Astro member MJ has been granted an urgent leave from his military service and has been keeping by the family's side at the funeral being held at Seoul Asan Hospital in southern Seoul.

Moonbin’s younger sister Moon Sua, a member of girl group Billlie, is serving as the chief mourner. Billlie also announced Thursday it will be halting all of its activities this week.  

KBS’s music show “Music Bank” will air its Friday live episode as planned, but canceled the event where the public can come watch the starring artists arrive at the scene. Girl group Le Sserafim also canceled the scheduled event for people to watch the members arrive on the filming set of JTBC’s talk show “Men on a Mission.”

Moonbin had recently admitted to going through "hard times" during his live sessions with fans. During a session on April 8 following a concert by Astro’s subunit Moonbin & Sanha, the singer told viewers that he had “something to confess.”

“I was going through a rough time,” said Moonbin. “I tried to not let it show, but I think it did. I’m sorry. […] I’m trying to get better. I’m exercising and doing things I’ve been missing out on. I have to recover and make Aroha [Astro’s fandom] happy.”

“I’ve chosen this job, so I need to handle it,” the singer added as his bandmate Sanha consoled him. The singer had previously taken a brief hiatus from Astro in 2019 citing health concerns.

 Korean celebrities are extending their condolences regarding Moonbin’s untimely passing. TV personality Jang Sung-kyu mentioned Moonbin during the MBC radio show “Good Morning FM with Jang Sung-kyu” on Thursday morning.  
“He looked so bright when I saw him recently,” Jang said. “This doesn’t feel real. May he rest in peace.”  
Comedian Kwon Hyuk-soo and musical actor Kim Ho-young, among many others, have offered their condolences on social media.  
Singer IU, who had a press interview for her upcoming film “Dream” on Thursday, requested the interview article be published after Monday to show respect.  
An older interview by Moonbin with the magazine Cosmopolitan from last September is resurfacing since news broke. When asked what he would do if he were an angel, the singer answered that he would "give people who took their own lives another chance to live."  
"We never know what will happen where or when," he had answered. "But we don't always think of death as we're living. We can enjoy small moments of happiness, like thinking what to eat today and what to wear tomorrow. It's sad that [some people] still end their own lives."  
His funeral and burial on Saturday will be held privately, according to his family.  
If you or someone you know is feeling emotionally distressed or struggling with thoughts of suicide, LifeLine Korea can be contacted at 1588-9191. The Seoul Foreign Resident Center offers English-language counseling. Contact 02-2229-4900 to arrange a session. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.