In the international Kpop and Kdrama communities, there is a lot of speculation about whether Lee Min Ho (이민호) and Kim Soo Hyun (김수현)will enlist in the military in the coming year.
There is a lot of uncertainty about whether they will even go through the dreaded 2 year of service, but the answer is quite simple. If they should wish to remain as employable and popular public figures in Korea, they have only one option. They’ll go through with their military service.
A lot of fans of the stars (and many other male artists yet to serve) have expressed their wishes for them not to go through with military service, not realising the consequences of such a decision.
In Korea, military service is considered almost a rite of passage. Any man who shirks his duty to his country is considered not a real man and the severe public condemnation is a painful price to pay, especially for those ever-watched public figures.
Yes, there are some circumstances where people are excused from their military service, but they can be difficult to prove or, in some cases, completely overlooked. Some people go as far as to fake mental illness or even the extreme of inflicting physical harm upon themselves in order to gain the pardon they desire.
However, the cost of doing something like this is massive. When people go to such extremes to avoid serving, you can imagine how seriously people take it and how bad it is when word gets out that they deliberately tried to evade it. It is hard for those who are excused from military service, but the life of those who are falsely pardoned or caught lying is even worse. You are treated like a criminal, a traitor to your country and the chances of finding good work, especially in politics or entertainment, is grim.
The social condemnation is a huge weight to bear that is not easily, if ever, lifted and it has driven some to flee to other countries just to escape the punishment.
I know that life during military service is unpleasant (I will cover that in a future piece) but would you wish the alternative on any of those people you admire? Trust me, they will go through it and come out the other side, like all others before them, and continue with their careers after. It is not the end of the world and I know that they will want it over and done with even more than their loyal fans.
So, in answer to the question, will Kim Soo Hyun and Lee Min Ho participate in their mandatory service? I fully believe that they will.
Will they make it through and be okay? Yes.
Is it better for their career if they don’t go? Nope. They’re better off serving.
Is there anything you can do to help them? Show them the same love and support you would of any of their other work and just be patient. It’s their life, their path and their choice.
I hope this piece was helpful and educational to you. If you have any questions, you are (as always) welcome to share them in the comments below, on any of our social media (Facebook and Twitter) or send me a message using the contact form below!
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