Q: How did you become the leader?
A: "I was given the role of leader because I was the oldest. Before Super Junior was formed, I was also the leader of a group called 'Smile' which never debuted. Even then, I felt pressured about being the leader, so I was really worried when told that I would be leading an even bigger group. At first, I said I couldn't do it. At the time, SM Entertainment's current president Tak Young Joon was our manager, and he encouraged me by having a lot of discussions with me. I also wanted to debut more than anything, so I decided to accept the leader position. After that, I was able to continue on thanks to so many people around me helping me out. The members also contributed."
Q: TheSuper Junior members are considered veterans in this field now. They are more likely to carry out their given roles professionally, rather than following directions. Are you the type to let them do their work on their own?
A: "I think that we have done our job of spreading our name to the public. Not just the brand of 'Super Junior', but as individuals too. All of our members do so well on their own, that I don't need to worry about them. But there's a part of me that feels sad. Like how parents will feel proud but also sad when their kids get married (Laughter)."
Q: What are your tasks as the leader?
A: "I've come to a point where I try to picture the future of Super Junior. Like 'How to make Super Junior a long-lasting group' and 'What will we be doing in 5~10 years'. I had a lot of thoughts about this when I was serving in the military, and that was when I got the idea to suggest creating Label SJ. I also got to participate in designing Super Junior's official light stick. I am thinking more critically than I did when I first debuted."
Q: In truth, Super Junior suffered from a lot of difficulties and struggles. What was it like?
A: "So many bad things happened all at once while we were at a sort of 'peak' in our career. We spent a lot of time at our dorms, crying. But looking back now, we were able to band together more tightly through those rough times... If there is an opportunity in the future, I want to stand on stage with all 13-members again. Of course, if there's any member who is opposed to it, then it won't happen. As the leader, I want to consider the feelings of the members who are currently in Super Junior most."