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what's with the military thing?

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 03:56
by arielle7
I recently keep reading all of this stuff about our K-actors going into the military. Some say it's manditory for 2 years and six months, others say it's their choice to be patriotic. Does anyone know how this system works? Why are ACTORS having to join the military!? :scratch:

:salut:

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 04:20
by nophankh
It's mandatory for all young healthy S. Korean men to join the military by the age of 30. It's the law and you can't buy your way out of it. It doesn't matter whether you're rich, poor, or a celebrity you just have to do it.

The reason why: political tension with NORTH KOREA.

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 04:24
by arielle7
Wow....for EVERY korean guy?
omg! Rain and joo ji hoon are 25, so does that mean they only have five years to join the military? How long do you have to stay in...and wouldn't that mess up someone's carreer if they are gone too long? and what happens if one doesn't join by the age of 30?

I know....a lot of questions huh... :unsure:

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 04:32
by Néa Vanille
I guess both Rain and Joo Ji Hoon have to go, provided they are healthy, which I assume they are. One Korean guy once told me that guys are able to avoid the draft in case their sisters volunteer to go instead of them, but I think that very rarely happens. Sometimes the government releases guys from the draft in case they did something truly spectacular for the country - in 2006, they offered to relieve all the players of the Korean National Soccer Team in case they reached the stage after the group stage (which they didn't). So, for this reason, I think the Korean government just might take mercy on Rain, as he is the spokesperson for Korea and the most popular Korean person all over the world. The country has a very great interest in improving its global image, so I say there's hope for Rain. Definitely not for Joo Ji Hoon, though.

Yes, it can totally ruin your career, as you are out of the picture for at least 2 years, possible longer. I think this is also one of the major reasons why Korean men are typically so much worse at English than women - the men have to go serve the military for 2 years or more where they forget all the English they ever learned, while the women are free to go study in the US or Canada or wherever. In short, women are oppressed and it's a man's world. :lol

The army does cause enormous social problems in Korea, but unfortunately it is a necessity since the country is technically still at war!

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 09:48
by kimmy12
i see.. poor wonbin.i heard that his leg injured..

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 13:52
by arielle7
Oh no! Poor Won Bin! :cry:

I feel sad for Joo Ji Hoon. I really hope he doesn't get hurt. :cry: But the Korean government will probably release Rain. You are right about him being the most famous Korean. He was in TIME magazine and is the first Korean on the brink of breaking into the US market BIG TIME. If he leaves, then he might never get the chance. He's soooo close to really being world famous, that I don't think that they'll take that away from him :salut:

I wonder about se7en though...he's pretty close to breaking into the US market too.

Also, is this military thing, just a precaution, you know like, PREPARING them just in case there is a war (basic training), or are they really being shipped off to fight somewhere? What I'm really trying to ask, is if there is any chance our k-actors could get killed? :-(

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 15:31
by Néa Vanille
Korean soldiers are very rarely, if ever shipped out to war abroad and in Korea itself there hasn't been any attacks in a while. However, every year quite a few Korean soldiers commit suicide and others die by the hands of fellow soldiers. They are taught how to kill with knives and firearms, and sometimes accidents do happen. It also happens that soldiers kill their fellows out of insanity and desperation. However, the vast majority of Korean men survive their military service, so the chances of a famous actor dying are very slim.

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 16:41
by kobe23
Interesting topic. Is it possible to dodge military service by taking up residence in another country and then returning to Korea after you're 30? Hmm....I guess you won't be very popular when you come back :/

I think even if Rain is exempt from the military he should still complete his service because it really is unfair for the Korean government to release certain men because they're popular. I mean sure, Rain is THE most popular Korean by far, but what about the others? How do you quantify popularity anyway? Soompi King? :wink: And besides, most of the actors come back from their service much fitter, healthier and stronger than ever with a great body. I'm sure you girls won't mind that :P

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 17:54
by fizzlex3mh
kobe23 wrote:Interesting topic. Is it possible to dodge military service by taking up residence in another country and then returning to Korea after you're 30? Hmm....I guess you won't be very popular when you come back :/
Hehe...that's pretty much what happened to this guy:
http://popseoul.com/2007/06/22/can-yoo- ... #more-3298

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 18:25
by Néa Vanille
Korea would probably consider releasing Rain because he is THE cultural missionary for Korea in the world, and given how concerned Korea is about its global image, it's in Korea's interest to keep Rain in the spotlight to keep the tourists coming, and to maybe see the first Korean make it big in the US. Given how obsessed Koreans are with getting international recognition, I wouldn't be so sure that there would be a public uproar, provided that Rain manages to advance to an even bigger star than he already is within the next few years.

Personally, I think the army tends to make men uglier, not sexier. Sure, there are exceptions, but I've seen it too often that a very handsome guy came out of the army looking 7 years older from the stress and the hard work. :-( The fitter body isn't much consolation there for me personally. I also had a friend who had his skin ruined in the army because he couldn't shower for 3 months in the winter as the shower water was icy cold. He came out of the army with skin that felt like leather to the touch. It has also happened that entire troops of soldiers were forced by their commanders to eat human feces (thankfully, though, that's an exception, not the norm). Plus, Korean soldiers are only paid like $30 a month when they start out.

In Korea, there's also the possibility to join the police instead of the armed forces, but I'm not sure what the qualifications are and under what circumstances you can go. There's also the possibility to do office work instead of going to the army, but this is only for men who, for whatever reason, don't pass the physical qualifications test. I had a friend who didn't have to go to the army and did office work instead because he had had 4 cheek teeth pulled as a kid. Lucky him! :lol

Oh, and another fun story: in Korea, as in the US, openly gay men are not allowed to serve, so one of my friend's friend thought of the clever idea to show up to the army interview and claim he's gay. Didn't quite work as the guy who worked there had probably heard that story before, so he asked him to provide proof of his homosexuality and show him photos of him with his boyfriend kissing. After that, he just enrolled. :lol

Posted: Jul 4th, '07, 18:32
by techie
Korea, as many others have personel in Iraq now too.
Most of that is likely on a volunteer basis like for european UN soldiers and other international sevrices for personel outside France or the US.

Posted: Jul 5th, '07, 02:15
by arielle7
OMG! Néa Vanille how do you know so much stuff!?! lol :lol Anyway, I wish they didn't have to go. Yeah, their bodies might be hotter, but at what price? Bad skin? Psychological damage? Their careers would be ruined.... :cry: Are there any famous Koreans who went into the military and came out the same as when they went in? u know, DIDN'T get messed up? :unsure:

I know that would be a bad think for joo ji hoon and kim jeong hoon...they look so elegant. The army would make them look so harsh....I'm scared.... :-(

$30 dollars!?!?! Well, you know they aren't joining the military because they need money...I know in America, people might join the military because they are poor.

Posted: Jul 5th, '07, 05:02
by Néa Vanille
Well, there's Jang Hyuk, who recently shot the drama Thank You, his first drama after having finished his service. Lots of people seem to think he looks better after than before and he seems to have gotten over it quite well indeed.

I just know these things because I have lots of Korean friends, since I've lived in Korea and am moving back there soon (this Saturday actually) and I often ask them about their army experience.

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 01:35
by arielle7
I just googled him...he does look cute :P. Well, I hope our other K-stars will come out looking just as good :-) .

Wow, lucky you! You get to live in Korea! :cheers:

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 02:22
by ephesus
I had dual citizenship for a long time, but had to give up my Korean citizenship because I didn't want to have to shoot people in the face. Mandatory military service is suckage.

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 02:29
by arielle7
I read somewhere that dual citizenship was illegal in Korea... :unsure:

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 02:50
by ephesus
Well, they frown upon it in the USA as well.
"official U.S. policy has been to discourage the incidence of dual nationality. The Government accepts but does not recognize or approve of dual nationality. The Government accepts it: "only as the result of separate conflicting laws of other countries."

But I was adopted and it was some weird exception. It might have changed since then though, i'm pretty old.

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 02:57
by arielle7
Ohhhhh okay, I get it. I guess they want you to pick a side lol :glare:

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 13:01
by snooopy06
what about if he is the only son in the family
there is some countries don't let one son in the family go to the miltary
if u understand what i mean

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 14:15
by fizzlex3mh
arielle7 wrote:OMG! Néa Vanille how do you know so much stuff!?! lol :lol Anyway, I wish they didn't have to go. Yeah, their bodies might be hotter, but at what price? Bad skin? Psychological damage? Their careers would be ruined.... :cry: Are there any famous Koreans who went into the military and came out the same as when they went in? u know, DIDN'T get messed up? :unsure:
Well, I know So Ji Sub and Ji Sung just returned from the military. They still look the same...so i assume they didn't get "messed up". haha. And it didn't ruin their careers because SJS has started filming his new drama Cain and Abel and Ji Sung has started filming his new movie A Destiny. (Both of which I am going to see.) I don't really know of any actors whose army service ruined their careers.

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 15:27
by kobe23
I believe Song Seung Hun also returned from military service recently and he looks great with no signs of psychological nor physical damage and will be starring in A Destiny as well.

My personal opinion regarding mandatory military service is that if it's enforced by your country then by all means you really should do it. If every healthy man and his dog has to do it, then everyone has to do it. No exceptions. I would not want to be the odd one out trying to evade it whilst my peers have to do their time.

Having said that, I would prefer to live in a country where military service is voluntary 8)

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 17:13
by arielle7
I believe that everyone should go to and not try to run away from it... :-( ..that doesn't mean that I like it. I know my opinion might sound biased, but I still believe that Rain SHOULD be the exception. I mean, he is so close to American stardom it isn't even funny, and if he leaves within the next couple of years, that chance will most definately be lost. America's pop culture is SO fickle and I want him to be ANYTHING but a "one-hit wonder" :crazy: He's the only Asian to come soooo close like that...

Maybe they can postpone it until after he's 30... That way, he can do what he needs to do and STILL fulfill his duty to his country :whistling:

Posted: Jul 6th, '07, 17:16
by arielle7
I believe that everyone should go to and not try to run away from it... :-( ..that doesn't mean that I like it. I know my opinion might sound biased, but I still believe that Rain SHOULD be the exception. I mean, he is so close to American stardom it isn't even funny, and if he leaves within the next couple of years, that chance will most definately be lost. America's pop culture is SO fickle and I want him to be ANYTHING but a "one-hit wonder" :crazy: He's the only Asian to come soooo close like that...

Maybe they can postpone it until after he's 30... That way, he can do what he needs to do and STILL fulfill his duty to his country :whistling:

Posted: Sep 24th, '07, 07:53
by miyukigrg
I keep reading all of this stuff about our K-actors going into the military. Some say it's for 3yrs.i heard that kang-ta would be also joining the military by the beginning of 2008.well its common for nepalese to join the military.

Posted: Sep 24th, '07, 09:43
by belleza
I believe Song Seung Hun also returned from military service recently and he looks great with no signs of psychological nor physical damage and will be starring in A Destiny as well.
Oh, he too got injured during his service (SSH didn't serve his full 2 years for that reason.) And he, like Jang Hyuk, was in an evasion scandal, which did big, big damage to their careers. From what I read, had Jang Hyuk not served, he would starred in the King and the Clown.

It's more of a big deal with pop stars than actors, though. NONE of Shinhwa has served. (The situational comedy of Eric and Minwoo surrounded by guys whose ex-girlfriends lusted after him is WAY too delicious . .. )

Posted: Sep 24th, '07, 10:08
by sefilily
Are most guys in Korea okay with doing this mandatory army thing? They've grown up with people around them having to do it, so is it just normal for them?

Btw, according to this -- >http://popseoul.com/2007/08/09/drooling-over-gong-you/, Gong Yoo starts his mandatory military service in Oct 2007. Kind of a shame because it's right after the success of Coffee Prince.

Posted: Sep 24th, '07, 14:51
by Néa Vanille
Though I don't know of any actors who had to give up their careers because of serving (I don't really follow actors much anyway), I'm pretty sure it happens on a regular basis. It's even worse on athletes - though there is the opportunity to keep practicing their sports of choice in the army, they have no chance to keep up the same training regime they trained under before they joined. The army is nothing but a necessary evil.

I get the impression that most Korean men, perhaps because they've been told so from when they were very young, think that serving is their duty and pretty much accept it, but admittedly I only have a rather small pool of references (my personal friends and acquaintances).

Posted: Sep 24th, '07, 15:42
by christaluvsdrama
Eric(from Shinwa) gave up his US citzenship to become a Korean Citzen and now he has to serve the military. Those of us who live in such places, despite liking where you live or not, you do have a choice of serving for your country and deciding not to. Me, I'm so happy I'm a girl and the plus fact that I don't support any war. Though, many of my friends decided to go right after they graduated from high school. Our generation is totally different, we freely say things revolving anything with the war, I sometimes feel I need to reproach myself because, what if I lived at a different time in life or I lived somewhere where I saw fights,muders, constant genocide would my opinion be the same? My escapist personality really wants to think otherwise about anyone ever having to fight in or do war. "The world would be so much better if everyone got along and we didn't need to kill each other to get to an agreement upon something", I always have that thought in my head. Such thoughts seem unrealistic in our worlds society. We ppl who think like this, why do we retain so much for that to happen? Forever thinking about such things make life so depressing. Okay I'm gonna shutup now, it's in the morning here and I might be rambling on while half sleep or not making any sense.

Posted: Sep 24th, '07, 18:17
by belleza
Are most guys in Korea okay with doing this mandatory army thing? They've grown up with people around them having to do it, so is it just normal for them?
National service is part of many entities in Asia: China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. Yes, there's media kvetching about this issue, but that is because the pop media needs to find ways to drum up interest for their stars through the period. For me, a bunch of actors that I watch are all in the 27-31 range and are either leaving or coming back.

After Gourmet, Kim Rae Won is going too.

Posted: Sep 25th, '07, 00:15
by arielle7
What about the members of Super Junior? Is there any word on any of them going? Some of them are in their mid twenties too :unsure:

Or what about Se7en? He's on his way to international success just like Rain

Posted: Sep 25th, '07, 23:10
by Xin
From what my relatives in Korea tell me, those who are serving in the military nowadays are given more free time. So during this free time, my cousin who was serving studied, so his studies wouldn't be hindered too much, while another one of my cousin went as far as to say some of them were also able to play online games there... lol

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told that Koreans who are serving are assigned certain roles. So for instance if a barber were to serve in the army, they'd be cutting hair for other people, while singers such as Rain and Se7en would be singing to entertain people there or something of the sort. But I'm sure they are taught other military tactics and whatnot as well aside from their little assigned roles. lol

Posted: Sep 26th, '07, 00:38
by Néa Vanille
As for the online games thing... in Korea, online gaming is a registered, widely accepted and official form of sports, and the army has their own professional online gaming team (Starcraft) just as they have other teams for their enrolled athletes. However, due to the soldiers' other duties, they usually don't get nearly enough time to practice to stay on top and while they can continue to do what they're good at, their ability to compete with non-soldiers decreases.

Posted: Oct 1st, '07, 16:15
by christaluvsdrama
arielle7 wrote:I read somewhere that dual citizenship was illegal in Korea... :unsure:
It isn't illegal as long as your of two ethnicities. Say if your mom is Korean & your dad is Chinese you could get 2 citizenships depending on the situation. I have friends who have dual citizenships.

Posted: May 13th, '08, 13:10
by Naicho
you are preety much right... i have a nepalese 1 and british 1 lol