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After Lucas, K-pop idols Sungchan and Shotaro to depart from NCT

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published May 24, 2023 3:44 pm

Weeks after SM Entertainment announced the departure of Lucas from NCT, two of the band's members—Sungchan and Shotaro—are likewise parting ways with the popular Korean pop act.

SM Entertainment broke the news on social media on Wednesday, May 24, just 14 days since Lucas officially left the group.

The agency began the statement, expressing how grateful they are for the love and support the band has been receiving from their fans. They later revealed that Sungchan and Shotaro are set to start a new chapter in their lives as part of an upcoming boy group under the agency.

"As NCT members, SUNGCHAN and SHOTARO have presented wondrous performances. However, they will be closing their chapter with NCT and debuting in a new boy group that will launch in 2023," the statement reads.

The agency went on to apologize to NCTzens who were expecting the duo to "debut as part of a new NCT Group."

Fans began speculating that Sungchan and Shotaro are set to be re-launched in an upcoming NCT sub-unit, after SM Entertainment's announced its plan to introduce a new group last February. The sub-unit, which was slated for an April 2023 debut, has yet to be launched as of writing.

SM Entertainment said that Sungchan and Shotaro's departure was made "after careful consideration and discussion with [the artists] in preparation of SM 3.0." The move, they said, "would also best reflect the artists' thoughts and each of the group's artistic and musical direction."

The group's upcoming unit, they said, "will be the final group to be part of NCT's infinite expansion."

"In alignment with this, we will be increasing the number of Japanese members, unveiling new members, and sharing their debut journey with the fans," SM Entertainment added.

"We will provide full support for not only the NCT members, but also for SUNGCHAN and SHOTARO. We ask once again that fans show continuous and unwavering love and support for their future endeavors," the agency concluded.

NCT, meanwhile, was launched by SM Entertainment in January 2016 with 20 members. Since then, the group has been adding new members yearly, with Sungchan and Shotaro joining the band on Oct. 12, 2020, with the album Resonance Pt. 1.

The multinational group currently has five sub-units—NCT U, NCT 127, NCT Dream, WayV, and NCT DoJaeJung—and has so far amassed over 16 million followers on social media.

They are best known for their albums Resonance Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 which propelled NCT to the top 10 of South Korea's best-selling albums for 2021.