K-Pop sensations BTS broke down in tears as they revealed plans to pursue solo careers and "grow", but pledged to return "someday".
Septet Jin, 29, Suga, 29, J-Hope, 28, RM, 27, V, 26, Jimin, 26, and Jungkook, 24, broke the news to their armies of fans during their annual FESTA dinner which celebrated the hugely popular band's nine years together, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
RM said it was time for them to work on their own, adding: "I always thought that BTS was different from other groups, but the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don't give you time to mature.
"You have to keep producing music and keep doing something."
J-Hope added: "I think we should spend some time apart to learn how to be one again. I hope you don't see this as a negative thing, and see it as a healthy plan. I think BTS will become stronger that way."
Suga exclaimed: "It's not like we're disbanding!"
Jimin said: "We can't help but think of our fans no matter what, we want to be the kind of artists that are remembered by our fans.
"I think now we're starting to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered by our fans.
"I think that's why we're going through a rough patch right now, we're trying to find our identity and that's an exhausting and long process."
V insisted they were not splitting and vowed the band's "synergy will be like no other" when they regroup.
Jung Kook released a solo single on Sunday called 'My You' while J-Hope has been announced as a headliner of Chicago's Lollapalooza festival in July.
Formed in 2010, South Korean boyband BTS -- also known as the Bangtan Boys -- also took a break in December 2021, when the group said they needed some downtime to recharge.
They also took a mini-break in 2019. (AA/IANS)