The Reason for Public Uproar Against the Issue of Kpop Stars' Military Service


In Korea, all able-bodied men over 19 are required to serve in the military for 20 months. The constitution clearly states that every Korean citizen has the right, as well as the obligation, to serve in the military without any discrimination. Famous Kpop stars are no exception. 

However, 20-month-long compulsory military service is an unavoidable source of trouble for Korea's young men since they must suspend their studies in colleges or quit jobs at the peak of their youth. Especially, for Kpop stars, who tend to have short careers, compulsory military service is exactly what they want to avoid. So, quite a few people try to dodge their military service in many ways. They usually dodge their military service by feigning illness or ditching Korean citizenship and becoming American citizens.

By the way, it is regarded that most of the people who dodge their military service illegally in Korea are the moneyed class such as sons of politicians, top officials in the government, and famous entertainers. Because of this, and there are so many Korean males who have already fulfilled their military service, people who dodged their military service are fiercely criticized by people in Korea. 


In 2010, Korean entertainer and singer MC Mong has been charged with draft dodging after it was revealed that he is missing 23 teeth and cannot serve in the military. Many people were also shocked that MC Mong would go to such extreme measures to avoid mandatory military service that every Korean man must fulfill, and the singer became at the center of criticisms. Even though he was found not guilty later, people continued to fulminate about his dodge for enlistment. (The court closed the case, concluding there was insufficient evidence to press criminal charges)

On November 3, MC Mong made a comeback with its new album 'Miss me or Diss me', while it has been about 5 years since he released his 5th full album 'Humanimal' in 2009.

Well, right after being released, all the songs of the album including the title track 'Miss me or Diss me', ranked high on various online music charts.


However, there still is a public uproar against MC Mong's comeback, and it seems that no one is on his side. MC Mong's close friends such as Baek Jiyoung, Haha and god's Kim Taewoo cheered for him through their SNS, but people are criticizing them all together, saying they are defending a criminal. And some of Kpop stars, Son Dambi and Rainbow's Cho Hyunyoung, left supportive messages for MC Mong on their SNS, and deleted them right away when they started to be criticized by people, which caused bigger criticisms. (It's an open secret that MC Mong is a member of hit maker composing team Double Kick, while he has been in intimate relationships with many Kpop stars despite his long hiatus)


Public uproar against MC Mong is beyond imagination. There even are public criticisms against Kpop stars who were featured in MC Mong's album such as Huh Gak, Ailee, Lyn, Sistar's Hyolyn, and Girl's Day's Minah. Do you think it's too much? Yeah, it seems so, but as I mentioned,  the Issue of celebrity's military service is a very sensitive subject in Korea.


For a similar reason, Yoo Seung Joon, who was once a Kpop sensation but later obtained American citizenship, has been fiercely criticized by people in Korea. It is regarded that Yoo gave up his South Korean citizenship so that he wouldn't have to do his mandatory military service, and the government considered this as 'military desertion' and has banned him from entering Korea. His music career in South Korea might be over.

Rain, who seemed to have more leave than the average soldier when he was serving his military duties in 2013 and was able to meet his girlfriend Kim Tae Hee on a regular basis, has been dogged by criticisms too.

We often talk this way in Korea: To succeed in life, young men must go to army. Young popular Kpop idols who are currently active in the world of kpop, such as EXO, B1A4, Infinite, Teen Top, VIXX, and more, have to go to military service themselves someday.