June 08, 2015

"It is mandatory for all able-bodied males in Korea to serve for around two years before a certain age."

Korea JoongAng Daily Although most men would agree that the idea of spending more than two years of their youth with other men in a military barracks is hardly enticing, dodging that responsibility is heavily frowned upon. BY YU SEONG-UN and KIM MIN-GWAN

'For Korea’s showbiz industry, Yoo’s case stressed that entering the military may mean being forgotten, but that avoiding duty will also leave an indelible mark on one’s reputation that may be impossible to recover from.

'Although it has become somewhat a trend since the turn of the millennium for male entertainers to willingly serve, with some even entering while at the top of their career, there are still cases like those of MC Mong, who allegedly attempted to dodge the military and gained a herd of haters for years to come.

'Insiders at entertainment agencies say that concerns about an uncertain future are what keep male celebrities from entering the Army.

'Students can take two years off and go back to school after serving in the Army, and workers can go back to work, they say.

'But that is not the case for entertainers. There is no guaranteed job security.

'“After two and a half years, I would be almost 30. I also have to consider that the life of a dancing singer is quite short,” Yoo said in a media interview in 2002, right after he was banned from coming into Korea.'

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