By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
It's almost a month after his discharge from the army and yet pop star Rain is still being hounded by controversy regarding his appointment as an entertainment soldier.
A Korean lawmaker accused that these entertainment soldiers, who were tasked to promote the image of the army, were given preferential treatment.
|Rain (Photos by www.newsen.com)|
Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Kwang-jin charged that Rain was chosen as an entertainment soldier despite that he failed to complete the documents needed to be designated as such.
He hinted that Rain and other entertainment soldiers who experienced problems during their enlistment should be made to serve again in the army, according to a report by Korea JoongAng Daily.
"To be selected for the entertainment unit, celebrities had to present their career histories, detailing the TV programs and movies they starred in and music they released. In addition, the celebrities were asked to submit a letter of recommendation by any relevant association," the newspaper said.
The report said the lawmaker cited the case of Korean rapper Psy, who was ordered to enlist in the military twice.
The issue of entertainment soldiers stemmed from an SBS TV report in late June which showed them violating military rules.
Singers Se7en and Sangchu of Mighty Mouth were seen visiting massage parlors after a military concert.
After its investigation, Korea's Ministry of National Defense ordered the abolition of the entertainment soldiers system and the imprisonment of Se7en, Sangchu and other celebrities involved in the scandal.
Last January, Rain was punished by the MND for dating actress Kim Tae Hee.
The MND said it will not order Rain to serve again in the army.
“Rain is a top singer known by almost everyone in Korea. That’s why some of the documents were not collected prior to his enlistment, but that is not enough to make him serve his military duty again,” said MND spokesperson Kim Min-seok, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.
With the abolition of the entertainment soldiers system, celebrities who are serving the army were transferred to regular units.
They are Kim Moo Yul, Super Junior′s Leeteuk, Lee Hyuk Ki (Loptimist), Kim Min Su, Kim Ho Young, Lee Seok Hoon, Ryu Sang Wook, Lee Ji Hoon (Kyunwoo) and Choi Jae Hwan, according to ENewsWorld.
Se7en, Sangchu and Lee Joon Hyuk will be transferred on Aug. 9 after serving time in jail.
Link to my original article on Manila Bulletin online:
To contact the author, send email to sangchusan(at)gmail.com