K-pop stars Kim Heechul of the boy band Super Junior and Momo Hirai of the girl group Twice are in a romantic relationship, their managements confirmed Thursday.
The agencies confirmed the relationship after Korean news outlet Market News reported earlier in the day that Heechul, 36, and Momo, 23, were dating.
“We have confirmed with Heechul and Momo that they have recently started dating from being a close sunbae and hoobae,” said Super Junior’s management, Label SJ, in a statement translated by Korean entertainment website Allkpop.
“We are confirming that Heechul and Momo are in a relationship. They have recently started a relationship that grew from a sunbae-hoobae friendship in the industry,” JYP Entertainment, Momo’s agency, said.
A “sunbae” is a Korean honorific that refers to a senior or more experienced person, while a “hoobae” is a junior.
Dating rumors between Heechul and Momo first surfaced in August 2019 but both parties denied them.
Super Junior debuted in 2005 and was one of the groups that led the increase in global popularity of South Korean pop music in the late 2000s. Among their notable songs are “Sorry, Sorry,” “Bonamana,” and “Mr. Simple.”
Twice, meanwhile, debuted in 2015. Their hit songs include “TT,” “Likey,” and “Feel Special,” among others.
The 9 members of Twice, dubbed as the “Nation’s Girl Group” by Korean media, also recently became the newest endorsers of the local clothing brand Bench.