'Not the sorry we wanted': Fans slam aespa's Karina for Instagram apology

An LED truck displaying messages demanding from Karina of girl group aespa, left [NEWS1, SCREEN CAPTURE]

Karina of girl group aespa made a public apology for dating. But apparently, that's angered fans even more.

Ever since the aespa member uploaded a handwritten letter of apology on Tuesday night on Instagram for dating her new boyfriend, actor Lee Jae-wook, online communities have been swarmed with fans expressing their dismay over the singer's apology.

"It wasn't an apology posted on some random place with forty million muggles that we wanted," wrote a fan on X, formerly known as Twitter, which got retweeted 400 times within minutes. The term "muggles" refers to K-pop laymen who are not members of official fan clubs of K-pop stars.

"I feel like it would have been better for Karina to write nothing at all," read a post on the popular online community Nate Pann with over 500 likes as of Wednesday afternoon, echoed by another post that read, "She should have posted on Bubble, not Instagram," referring to SM Entertainment's private messaging service for fans who pay a monthly subscription fee.

Karina's apology was uploaded on Tuesday night, a week after news first broke of her new love life, starting with the words, "I'm sorry to have startled you."

A hand-written apology uploaded by Karina of girl group aespa, left [NEWS1, SCREEN CAPTURE]

"I'm fully aware of how much MYs, who have supported me, would have been disappointed in me to think of all the stories that we shared together," the letter said. MY is the name of the girl group's fan club.

"I would like to make amends for the hurt that I caused to MYs. I have always been sincere to MYs and each and every one of you are so precious to me. Thank you for reading this short text, which is not enough to show you everything that I feel, and I promise to show you how I will work harder to not let you down."

The letter came after thousands of tweets were uploaded with the hashtag, "Yujimineunbwara," which translates to "read this Yu Ji-min," criticizing her for dating so shortly into her career and just weeks before the girl group's first full-length album is set to drop in April.

LED trucks were rented out last week to drive around SM Entertainment's headquarters in eastern Seoul reading, "You ruined your own career," "Were you not satisfied with the love that your fans gave you?," "Why did you decide to betray your fans? Apologize, or you will see album sales drop and empty front-row seats to your concert" and more.

No further comment came from SM Entertainment or the singer on Wednesday.

The quartet is set to release its first full-length album next month and kick off its second world tour "Synk: Parallel Line" in June. SM Entertainment shares have been falling since the beginning of 2024 but have been seeing a steeper dip since last week aggravated by the news of boy band SHINee members leaving the agency.

Find out more about Karina and aespa at Celeb Confirmed