Thursday, 23 August 2007

Compulsory National Service for South Korean males

I was really shocked to learn that the South Korean government obliges all able-bodied men to serve in the military for at least two years. Yeah that's 24 whole months!

So where does that leave Korean male entertainers? Compulsory military service is a fact of life in South Korea but two years in the army can be detrimental to the career of a young celebrity. South Korean stars will have to make a decision - whether to enlist themselves with the risk of their celebrity status fading or become a pariah by trying to dodge the draft, and not serve the country.

How do you escape serving in the army?

Well, there is no escape. However, if you are a technology researcher or professionally skilled worker with special expertise and work for companies that serve vital national interests, then you are exempted from this rule. Entertainers, however popular, are not exempted.

I also read that hundreds of expectant mothers in South Korea leave the country each year to give birth overseas so that their children can have dual citizenship and perhaps, escape time in the army.

South Korean singer Yoon Gye-sang (pic on right), a member of boy-band g.o.d. went through basic training and first served near the Demilitarized Zone where most of the North's 1.2 million-man army is stationed. As a soldier, he earns 60,000 won a month, a pittance compared with what he received as being part of g.o.d. Now, Yoon serves at the Korean Forces Network (KFN), hosting a music show that plays the video clips most requested by the troops.

Another Korean star whom you might be familiar with who went through military service is Won Bin (29, real name Kim Do-jin). He enlisted on 29 November 2005. He was stationed at the Korean border, a position which he volunteered. However, Won Bin was discharged from military service on 02 June 2006 because he sustained a ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) knee injury. He underwent surgery and was officially discharged on 07 June 2006 after serving 191 days in the army.


If you know of Korean actors/singers who have served in the National Service or who will be enlisting soon, do tell us!

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14 Comments:

Liz said...

Walau-eh, Won Bin is hot...and in a uniform too. Mmmm...

Liz makes a quick exit to surf for stuff on Won Bin.

rooster said...

No wonder all so buff.

Orchid said...

Oh yeah! You are right Rooster. They are all so buff and toned. =)

Liz...you should see Won Bin's other photos (not in military gear). We have not done a profile on him yet. Since he's making a come-back...maybe it's about time we check him out! :-) I think Won Bin has a "baby face".

m72 said...

I know kim jong kook is serving his military service right now. And i heard that Gong Yoo a.k.a Han Gyul from Coffee Prince is set to fulfill his military services this October. All of womanhood will be crying for that. Lol.

There are some celebrities who still managed to not do their national service yet though i.e some of the Shinhwa boys and Sung Shi Kyung.

Orchid said...

Thanks m72! I am not familiar with Kim Jong Kook, Gong Yoo or Sung Shi Kyung. Must look them up.

Liz said...

Oi, we have a profile on Kim Jong-kook-lar.

He's the singer with the "mosquito" voice and the guy who played "kai-kai bok" with Bi in a TV game show.

Check him out here:
http://k-popped.com/2007/07/kim-jong-kook.html

Liz said...

Thanks m72 for the info. Guess there's a whole lot more Hallyu surfing we have to do.

Kewl! Rock on! *plays air guitar because it's a FRIDAY!*

unf4me said...

oh yeah won bin sshi is HOT...and his acting is pretty good... he was in that war movie i forget what it's called...yeah i definitely vote for his profile since he's coming out again soon. i guess his knee is gettin better.

Liz said...

OK, Won Bin sshi, you're about to be K-popped!!! Watch out for him ;-)

Orchid said...

unf4me: I believe the war movie Won Bin was in is called Taegukgi (2004). He was acting with Jang Dong-gun in that movie.

I have not seen that movie myself. But heard that it was a blockbuster!

Anonymous said...

All the Shinhwa members Eric, Dong Wan, Jun Jin, Min Woo and Andy will enlist for the military in 2008.Hye Sung is already exempted from millitary service because he suffers from a serious injury on his knee while he was doing a concert in 2001.
Kangta is also going.Imagine all of them leaving for military at the same time.How sad..

Comet said...

Dongwan ,Minwoo,Eric and Junjin are going next year too...I'm not sure about Andy

..My Shinhwa !!! uhuhu..2 years without them ...aigoo..Luckily Hyesung is still here.

no said...

yoon kye sang ... all the way !

wahida said...

recently i think boom the artist and yesterday LEE JUNKI.

 

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