• http://twitter.com/kmi_chan Camille カミーユ

    I don’t know the case very well and I’m not korean, but it’s gonna be really hard even impossible for him to go on stage again.

    First the fact he tries to avoid his enlistment is something really unpatriotic in the eyes of Korean, he may have his fans but I don’t think it will be enough to go against the rest of the nation. Plus he has been banned from big channels, it’s gonna be tough to promote or even participate in variety shows. We all know in showbiz, people remember your mistakes more than your success.

    Then apart from the public opinion, after he has been through I don’t think he’ll have the strength to fight against the public opinion again. I mean he must feel quite ashamed and guilty. He has been in the spotlight but not for the good reasons.

    I think it’s more because of his remorse he won’t be able to come back, than because of the public opinion.
    That’s why he won’t probably come back.

  • theonetwo

    i doubt mc mong will be able to make a comeback but i wont say it isnt possible.  koreans take their military service very seriously and those accused of trying to dodge their responsibility really get looked down upon.

    • Black_Plague

      Hm, usually those that have medical/health reasons aren’t looked down upon, mostly anyways. My uncle didn’t serve due to having poor eyesight at the time (though this almost 20 years ago) though he lives out just fine at Korea.

      Though on the side note, at least since the 80s or 90s, those that finished their service often looked down on the guys that were assigned as capital defense (or something like that) since the latter only served a year, despite being in the same branch of service.

  • FallingSnow

    Mandatory military service for South Koreans is what taxes are for Americans: the great social equalizer. Normal citizens don’t begrudge the wealthy and the famous for their money or their fame as long as they are justly earned. In fact, they happily hold the same aspirations and desire for wealth and fame. What they cannot stand though, is injustice. So when they see the rich and famous abusing their status and power by dodging the responsibilities asked of each and every citizen (when so little has been asked of them as it is), they will revolt and react in righteous anger. I doubt MC Mong will comeback to the entertainment scene again. Korean netizens can be cruel and in this case, they will not be forgiving. 

    PS: “South Korea actually has one of the longest mandatory military periods in the world.” 2 years is actually pretty standard for countries asking for mandatory military service. Egypt is 2-3 years, Iran – 2 years, Singapore – 24 months, etc. The longest is not surprisingly North Korea where most men are asked to serve for 10 years. 

    • Black_Plague

      10 years is to be frank, unrealistic since morale would only just plummet further, not to mention the NK military is suffering from shortages of food with many other supplies (they don’t even have enough heaters for winter).

      But then again, what else is there to expect from a country ruled by a whacko XD

      • JjigaeLover

        Well…being in the military in NK is the best since they get treated the best. Even if they suffer from shortage of food, they are massively better fed than the general population. Also the military is literally the only path to social mobility.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VOBHN5WR2Q3MPYG2DVDKDOB3WU Lili

    wait. Daesung didn’t have a “hit-and-run”. He didn’t run from the law or the scene. He co-operated. I don’t mean to get my panties in a twist, but it’s unfair to call it a hit and run because of the connotations it holds. 

    Can someone explain why Mc Mong allegedly pulled out teeth to avoid the army? Even if it’s not true, why would teeth matter. Just asking.

    • ilovessantokki

      Yeah, the whole ‘hit and run’ thing kind of irked me too. It was not in any way a hit and run.

    • AGNS02

      Getting your teeth pulled seems to be the easiest(?) way out than say, hiring a goon to break your limbs in half. 

      As to why would teeth matter, basically this whole paragraph in the article:

      “There are a number of mechanisms in place to ensure that those who are physically not up to serving as active duty soldiers fulfill their military obligation; prior to enlistment, all young men are given a physical examination and ranked based on physical ability.  Anyone given a ranking of 1, 2, or 3 is eligible for active duty; those with a ranking of 4 carry out public service instead.  MC Mong’s ranking (5), which was entirely due to the fact that a good number of his teeth were extracted, made him completely ineligible to be drafted — in other words, it was a get-out-of-the-army-free card. “

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VOBHN5WR2Q3MPYG2DVDKDOB3WU Lili

         I was actually asking why would it matter if his teeth were pulled out. I read somewhere that it’s a similar reason when Men had flat feet back in the day, but that one makes more sense. but nobody really knows why teeth pulled out matters. *shrugs*

        • AGNS02

          imo, no specific medical or physical reasons as to why does it matter other than maybe the army doesn’t want to pay for his dentures/choke himself to death/not aesthetically pleasing. 

          i mean, a guy with excessive tattoos will also be ranked Level 5 or lower, and deemed not illegible to serve just because in the gov’s eyes all tattoos actually equals to being in a gang. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/VOBHN5WR2Q3MPYG2DVDKDOB3WU Lili

             yeah, i guess it does make sense if the gov doesn’t want to cover anything wrong that could happen. The tattoo thing, as much as the gov does think it’s related to gangs, there is also another reason. I’m not a doctor or even a nurse, so I can’t be too sure…but I think it’s also the same reasons as to why you can’t give blood if you have tattoos. I guess they are things they don’t want to risk.

            But anyway, I didn’t know you were qualified as level five for having your teeth pulled out. What a way to get caught. It really does look petty. But only he knows the truth to the whole ordeal. I feel bad for him though.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/P4ZSUYNPUIRG7OCJAG3CTPDETM Bazinga

    Don’t call Daesung’s case a “hit-and-run”. He did not hit someone and then take off. You seriously need to change that. 

  • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

    I think this topic begs another question: what happens when you’re born in Korea and raised in another country? Obviously you still have the civic obligation of enlisting, but the feeling of patriotic duty is more likely to be absent. I would think so anyway. 

    I’ve always wondered whether someone like 2pm’s Taecyeon (who was born in SK and raised in Boston) should do the mandatory enlistment. I think he may even have given up his American citizenship to join the SK military. He’s particularly adamant about enlisting, but would others be? 

    And on a sillier note, when all the boys of 2PM go to the military, I wonder what Nichkhun’s gonna do for those two years? Work on his vocals I hope? *big grin*

    • AGNS02

      My understanding was that Taecyeon is not an American citizen but a Permanent Resident? He’s legally still a SK citizen, hence eligible for mandatory military service. 

      • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

        You’re totally right–I just saw that he’s not actually a US citizen but a Permanent Resident. Apparently he’s decided not to take the test for US citizenship and that that may be related to his critics claiming he’s trying to evade mandatory service. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=33309186 Emily Philippone

          Actually I am pretty sure you have to give up other citizenships to get US citizenship in most cases and I also heard that under Korean law now you can’t give up citizenship before serving. If you do you won’t be allowed back in the country — a lot of people were doing it to get out of serving.

          • FallingSnow

            Actually I am pretty sure you have to give up other citizenships to get US citizenship”


            The United States allow for dual citizenship. Eg. Dual American/Canadian citizenship. Dual American/British citizenship.

          • JjigaeLover

            The U.S. allows dual citizenship but not usually for naturalized citizens, i.e. citizens that are not born American or have an American parent or marry an American. And yes I do believe that if you serve in another country’s military, you’re citizenship gets revoked. In the same light, people in the U.S. can enlist as a path to naturalization, although it’s not as easy now with all the troop withdrawals happening.

    • Black_Plague

      Nickie would probably try go solo but whether if it’ll be a success is a matter of debate at best.

      What makes me more curious is why he’s so adamant about enlisting. From what I know, the ROK military’s training – especially the Army and Marine Corps, is known to be damn rigorous – which explains there’s always quite a number of troops that volunteer for the KATUSA, knowing that the US Army isn’t as abusive in training, treats its personnel more better and at the least more professional.

      Which also goes to say, in 2011 alone, over 900 marines in the ROKMC were hospitalized due to such training and hazing. That’s nearly 1/25th of the whole corps.

      Either Taecyeon is fully confident of himself (or overconfident) that he’ll overcome the dificulties or he’s completely oblivious to the reality. My dad served in an artillery battery back in the 80s in the ROK Army and in his words, the training was hell.

      • AGNS02

        Thanks for insight into the ROK’s army and marine corps. I assume Taecyeon thinks of his mandatory service as an honor to serve his country in a similar way to that of an American/British soldier enlisting on his freewill. It might just be a PR stunt from his side but it sure beats seeing celebrities and average Korean guys dodging the draft like the plague. 

    • http://twitter.com/SouthPawSeoul 이정남

      Taecyon had to give up his green card so to speak, he’s living and working in Korea.  His enlistment is still very much mandatory, while he may sincerely want to join he would be required to either way.  The PR spin that came out way back still surprises me. 

  • AGNS02

    It’s a bit hard to feel sorry for a celebrity who like the writer mentioned, will most likely be assigned to a cushy service post rather than a GI Joe-esque training course even though they’re basically giving up 2 years of their life to serve their country. Whether or not he’s allowed to return to the industry is basically up in the hands of the general public. He’s not exactly the first celebrity who tried to pull a fast on on their mandatory service(side-eyeing a few of the big names), but hey, if an actor can revive his career after dodging their draft, who says a MC can’t? Not to mention 2 years is like 10 years in K-Entertainment, certain stuff gets forgotten easily. 

  • http://twitter.com/stewart_patrick Patrick John Stewart

    Banish him forever.

  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    Sometimes I wonder just how bad the military in Korea is, or if it’s just poor morale that produces dodgers like MC Mong.

    For all their ‘nationalism,’ South Koreans are surprisingly void of camaraderie with each other, especially if you are not someone with whom they have mutual relations.

    • Black_Plague

      At least from what I hear from other Koreans, they do it out of obligation than nationalism – lot of my friends flew back to Korea after graduating here in NZ – and most of them just started their service this year. Though generally speaking, dodgers aren’t exactly widespread enough to be a massive major concern – besides, the average Korean guy wouldn’t want to be looked down upon in society, plus military service always often is considered a bonus in the resume.

      Morally speaking, the ROK military is quite rough and physical abuse isn’t an uncommon case – though given that the country has a certain neighbour with a crazy government in power, it’s understandable to a degree since the ROK would naturally want to toughen up its troops as much as possible (which has worked – there’s a reason why ROK forces are still well-respected by US forces). Though as a military overall, the ROK is still considered among the well-equipped and trained armies in Asia – plus their combat history is something to take note of.

      • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

        Thanks for that, Black_Plague.

        I understand the need to toughen up troops, but I wonder whether the ROK military does it at the expense of breaking morale. If yes, the military culture in the long run is probably responsible for negative societal attitudes towards service.

        Then again, I guess you’re dealing with conscripts who don’t want to be there in the first place, or from a family or culture that isn’t open to giving up something for the greater good. The “we’re all in this together” mentality is probably what the military and the government wants, but somehow somewhere the message gets lost.

        And yes, I agree military service is a bonus on the resume, and the guy who doesn’t go is looked down upon. But aside from the negative incentives, everybody loses a bit when there’s a lack of positive ones for serving your country.

        • Black_Plague

          Arguably yes, the military itself is responsible for the negativity it has received from society regarding service since news of recruits committing suicide or killing their own comrades out of anger or mental breakdown has gone up since the 90s (80s was when political censorship was heavily present).

          Though I’d also say the education system is to partially blame as well – I mean, students get corporal punishment quite often, even for the smallest infractions at times – and they all grow up getting used to it, hence why recruits in general don’t complain (mostly anyway) when they’re punished by their drill sergeants or superiors for small reasons – while the ones that were bullied in school and all are more likely to be the ‘black sheep’ in the military – and by that, more prone to abuse, violent breakdowns and suicides.

          I’m more mixed with the whole ‘we’re all in this together’ mentality though – there’s also the fact that the North Korea’s aggressive behavior tends to rile up the population a lot – back in the Yeonpyeong Island bombing, even groups of North Korean defectors rallied that they’d fight for the South if a war broke out (and on FB, practically everyone went on cussing about North Korea). Not to mention that a large portion of South Korea’s population still is under the strange belief that the North is more powerful than the South and if a war broke out, the former would win unless the US came to the rescue – which is bogus since NK can’t sustain a war very long, nor does it have a snowball’s chance of overrunning the DMZ.

          True, lack of positive peeps (or patriots) in the ROK military is a bit of an issue though the North Korean threat (and overestimated, in conventional terms) playing a significant role in the mentality and obligation Korean men have for military service probably makes up for it, at least in the govt and military’s point of view.

          • JjigaeLover

            Well as much as I can understand the defectors’ sentiment, there are barely 10,000 defectors in South Korea today and I would guess that a lot of them aren’t fit for duty (too young, too old, etc). 

            And while it’s true that NK would beat SK, China would definitely not allow war the happen since it’s pretty much China preventing the North from going too crazy right now. Plus China is all NK has, NK isn’t stupid enough to go against their only benefactor.

          • Black_Plague

            True, the number of defectors isn’at exactly high though considering that some of those defectors also happen to be from the DPRK’s military itself, they could provide some usefulness and provide insight regarding the DPRK military’s status (which they already have).

            “And while it’s true that NK would beat SK,”

            Err, typo much? If not, the chances of NK beating SK is simply unrealistic and downright impossible. The only bonuses the Norks have is their artillery (questionable due to poor maintenance as with most of their equipment), nuclear missiles (again, questionable since their launch systems are primitive) and chem/bio weapons (again, maintenance is the key there, something NK doesn’t have much of a good record of).

            Even though China is all the NK has, it’s been getting gradually clear that even the Chinese are tired of NK’s antics – WikiLeaks also showed that Chinese govt. officials of the younger generation (that is, pretty much anyone that entered politics from the 80s to current) are getting pretty pissed off with NK.

          • JjigaeLover

            No it wasn’t a typo. If it was only the North vs the South with no other country meddling, the North would win. Also the South is backed up by the US and I highly doubt the US would be willing to go supply troops on the ground in Asia whereas it would be much easier for China to send troops since they already border the country.

            I think if NK acts up too much, China will slap it down like scolding a little kid. But with all the economic and political chaos that would result from any real conflict with NK, I think everyone wants the status quo for now. There are studies predicting devastating effects to the SK economy if the North collapses. I personally think it’s sad because the North has to go, it’s ruled by crazy people! But if I were South Korean enjoying a cushy modern life and all its comforts, it would take a lot of sacrifice to give all that up and face uncertainty for reunification.

          • http://twitter.com/silverukiss Silver

             I know this was months ago, but I’m curious why you think SK would collapse if the north was gone? It seems to me like a lot of South Korea’s economy flourishes from their trade with others (whether that be entertainment, electronics, whatever). They can still trade with them even without the North being there. I would actually say that South Korea is starting to establish quite a stable economy.

      • ggoma

         I’ve heard of soldiers committing suicide. There are a lot of terrible stories I’ve heard. It’s not pleasant.

  • straighttohelvetica

    What is the average age of enlistment for non-celebrity Koreans? Before college? After college? I’m just curious how the process works for the everyday folk.

    • ggoma

       They usually go in younger because it’s a pain for older men to go into the army. The age rules disappear so if a guy goes in at 30 his superior could be like 22 and that just bothers a lot of men because outside of the army, they’d be the hyungs. :P So they tend to go after their first year of college so that it doesn’t interrupt school so much.

    • http://twitter.com/SouthPawSeoul 이정남

       Usually before College

  • damn itsleft

    duhhhhhh. why should he not return.. the quotes is true. people look at a mistake rather than all of the deed they have done on life. yes life is unfair, infact everyone life is unfair. He has been an entertainer and he only earn from there.  some  of us may not be able to accept his reutrn, but only those recognise him well , will accept him with an open arm. if only i have authority in Korea,i would look further and try not to sabotage others career.

  • huhu

    man I really angry reading this article! daesung case is not hit-and-run!!! Please do more research before you write