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Korean celebrities who tried to evade military enlistment and what happened to them?

Korea tries it’s best to bring everyone closer as a nation. For this reason it has laws like banishing anyone (of Korean descent) who speaks ill of South Korea and compulsory military enlistment because the possibility of a war from North Korea is eminent.

But there are a few celebrities that have tried to evade this responsibility and I’m not talking about disabled or sick people, I’m talking about healthy people who have tried to evade their service to their country. But first let’s talk about why Korea is so insistent in keeping Koreans together.


The division of Korea aroused many speculations. Some believe it to be because of Japanese military expediency, while some believe it to have happened because they didn’t want the Soviet’s to capture the entirety of Korea. Because of the nation’s division, tensions began to increase between the two, and the ongoing conflict is on which nation is the sole legitimate government to rule all of Korea.

Celebrities who attempted to evade military service

Steve Yoo

A classic case of Draft dodging is the case of Steve Yoo who promised his fans that he would complete his mandatory military service but opted for an American citizenship days before his enlistment on Jan 18, 2002.

South Korea banished him from his homeland as an act of betrayal and desertion, and even his popularity went considerably down.

Song Seung Heon

He came under the fire in 2004 for being accused of trying to not get enlisted in the military. The actor and model sent tainted urine samples to the officials proving he was unfit for the mandatory service expected from him, as he suffered from diabetes.

Song Seung Heon

As the issue grew big, he immediately enlisted in the military as most controversy driven people do, and was discharged from his service in 2006. He kept a low profile until being cast in a drama East of Eden in 2008.

Kim Mu Yeol

Actor Kim Mu Yeol raised everyone’s eyes as his last enlistment date was approaching in 2009, he asked it to be postponed as he had allegedly suffered from a knee injury. The reason why everyone’s suspicion was raised is because he had been postponing his military service since 2007 for reasons ranging from taking civil service examinations or being admitted to a work training facility, and neither of these claims have found to be true.

However he was grant an exemption due to his family being a low income family and him being the sole provider for the family in 2010. In 2012, his image suffered a lot, and to improve his reputation he enlisted in the military.

MC Mong

In 2010 MC Mong was accused of deliberately trying to postpone his military enlistment and was also investigated by the South Korean Military Manpower Administration for the same.

He had purposely pulled out his teeth and had undergone immense dental procedures like braces, implants or cavities due to which the mandatory military service can be postponed or waived off.

Although he was cleared on the charges of pulling healthy teeth, he was jailed for 6 months for trying to postpone his military service. Despite making a comeback in the industry, things aren’t the same and things are facing downwards for MC Mong.

While certain Korean celebrities try to avoid enlistment in the military, some celebrities who are engrossed in scandals and controversies try to get admitted as soon as possible just to move out of the spotlight and scrutiny and also show their affinity towards South Korea, as we all saw in the case of BigBang’s Seungri.

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Lakshmi Kher
Lakshmi Kher
Lakshmi Kher, also known as Luna, has been a fan of K-pop for over eight years now. Her favorite K-pop groups include BTS, Stray Kids, Itzy, Red Velvet, BlackPink, TXT, ENHYPEN and many others. You can normally catch her at a quaint cafe amongst books with her laptop, writing and of course listening to some of her favorite tracks!

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