By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
Asian pop star Rain has been discharged from the Korean army at about 8 a.m. today after serving for 21 months.
Hundreds of fans including from Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Turkey, Malaysia and the US and the media waited for him outside the Ministry of National Defense office in Yongsan, Seoul.
|Photos by www.newsen.com|
The fans held banners and posters, and Rain's pictures that contain messages like "Forever with you" and "Return of the King."
Wearing his fatigue uniform for the last time, the singer spoke briefly in front of the press and his fans before giving his final military salute.
"Thank you. I will show you my hard work in the future," Rain was quoted as saying.
Cube Entertainment, Rain's new entertainment agency, said that there are no plans yet for any activity for the singer.
Rain enlisted in the military on Oct. 11, 2011.
His release came after he was embroiled in controversy about alleged special treatment of celebrity soldiers in the military.
Two weeks ago, SBS current affairs program "In Depth 21" aired an episode which showed K-pop singers Se7en and Sangchu of Mighty Mouth visiting massage parlors while on duty.
The episode also showed celebrity soldiers Rain, KCM, Lee Joon Hyuk and Kim Kyung Hun going to a restaurant and drinking alcohol. They were also out past their 10 p.m. curfew.
The Ministry of National Defense has not finished its investigation but it has cleared Rain of any misconduct that paved the way for the singer's scheduled release.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that Sergeant Jung (Rain) was not in the wrong for his actions on the day of the incident. He will be relieved of his duties on July 10,” the ministry was quoted by ENewsWorld as saying.
Last January, Rain was involved in a controversy stemming from his dates with actress Kim Tae Hee.
A news site published photos of the two together. Kim Tae Hee's agency eventually admitted that the two were dating.
For this, he was punished with a one-week confinement to his barracks.
Link to my original article on Manila Bulletin online:
Email me at sangchusan(at)gmail.com