Nov. 6 (UPI) -- BTS band member Suga is temporarily suspending most of his activities due to shoulder surgery, his agency says.
Big Hit Entertainment said Friday on WeVerse, the South Korean online fan platform, rapper and songwriter Suga is taking a momentary break from his busy schedule because of a shoulder injury, Yonhap reported.
"On Nov. 3, Suga underwent surgery for a tear in his shoulder area," the agency said. Suga received "stitches for a shoulder labrum tear." The labrum is a type of cartilage found in the shoulder joint.
In its statement, Big Hit said Suga believed it was "important to maintain his health," because he has a duty to "fulfill his military service obligations." All South Korean men ages 18 to 28 are required to serve in the military. Suga also said the recovery period is necessary so that he may continue his activities.
"After a medical professional concludes the area of surgery has healed, [Suga] will return to the stage in good health," the agency said.
BTS is preparing to promote their new "BE" album, but Suga may be absent from promotional campaigns and activities, according to Big Hit.
The South Korean band has made Billboard history this year but has also been the target of criticism, and Chinese nationalist sentiment, after the band was awarded the James A. Van Fleet Award and leader RM addressed U.S. and South Korean casualties but not Chinese sacrifices during the Korean War.
Seo Kyung-duk, a professor of public relations at Sungshin Women's University in Seoul, said the band and other representatives of Korean popular culture are being targeted in China because of a "lack of respect for the cultures of other countries and peoples" in the world's second-biggest economy, News 1 reported Friday.
K-pop girl group Blackpink has also come under attack on social media platforms after the band uploaded a YouTube video showing them touching baby pandas at a South Korean zoo, according to South Korean press reports. Chinese social media users expressed anger the members were touching the pandas, a "national treasure of China," without gloves.