Celebrity News
Kang Dong-won sneaks in to basic training
by | November 18, 2010 | 37 Comments

It wasn’t a secret that Kang Dong-won was planning to report for mandatory military service this month, but he did go out of his way to make his enlistment as quiet as possible on November 18.

That means that Kang bypassed the usual fan and press sendoff — which is generally a star’s last chance to be seen in the public eye for two years — and rode in to the army training grounds in a vehicle provided by the military. He arrived an hour and a half past the expected time (usually 1pm) in order to evade the press outside and keep his profile low.

Two other entertainers also enlisted on the same day, Go Joo-won (Kim Suro) and V.O.S. singer Choi Hyun-joon, who did speak with the press per the norm, outside the same Nonsan training facility.

While doing the press rounds for his latest movie, Psychic, rumors circulated about Kang’s upcoming enlistment plans, but he and his management stayed strictly mum and avoided giving concrete responses. The general belief is that Kang wanted to keep particularly quiet because he will be assigned to the civil service sector — which is to say, a less strenuous job than active duty.

(Civil service positions, desk jobs, entertainment units — these are considered favorable assignments in that they’re less demanding than active duty, but due to the complex issues and implications embedded into the whole draft issue — including bitterness at celebrity favoritism, schadenfreude, and envy — they also carry some stigma. Some accuse celebs of abusing their status to score cushier positions, but on the flipside, active duty can be glorified excessively when really, maybe the guy tried to opt out but his excuse just wasn’t strong enough. In any case, you can see that military service is fraught with controversy no matter how you look at it. I’ve even read a few nasty pieces from media outlets that are usually pretty balanced, casting Kang’s departure in a negative light. I guess the bigger the star, the bigger the target… In any case, arguing about the way in which a celeb serves in the army is pretty much a lose-lose in my book. Bottom line is: Whether graciously or not, the men serve.)

Well, goodbye to Kang Dong-won, Choi Hyun-joon, and Go Joo-won — see ya all in two years!

Choi Hyun-joon, Go Joo-won

Via Star News


37 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. shiningmoon

    See you in two year KDW!!! Stay healthy and good luck, we will be waiting for you here!!! ^_^

  2. katara

    “Bottom line is: Whether graciously or not, the men serve.)” — I couldn’t agree more

    My precioussssssss KDW is serving the army. He is the only actor I’m sad to go. I will really really really miss him. Two years seem a long time. Yes, WE will be waiting for you.

  3. Dory

    Good bye ๐Ÿ™

  4. peanut butter

    article is pretty well-said. that always seems to be the case with celebrities no matter what the topic.

    either way, see you guys in three years!! time to have v.o.s on repeat…

  5. madzgo

    No one can deny Kang Dong Won’s superstar status right now with his three recent blockbusters under his belt. His agency may or may not pull a lot of strings with his civil sector assignment but he’s still serving the mandatory 2-year military service.

    I will certainly miss his charismatic presence onscreen. Goodluck, good health and God bless all the enlisters today…

  6. moony meia46

    *sigh* 2 years…… So long.
    Well, we will be waiting.In the meantime, I will be watching `Duelist` for the n-th time.

  7. Ri

    Always so sad when an artiste goes enlists in national service. 2 years is a loooong time in celebrity land.

  8. kitkatx

    Totally admire him for doing that. But God, I bet it’s so scary for an actor to leave for 2 years like that. Considering the competitve nature of the Korean enteratinment industry where there’s some new, younger celebrity popping up every couple of months, must be terrifying.

  9. Shirls

    ๐Ÿ™ see you in two years! (and then a drama??? One can only hope)

  10. 10 oh! tht! chick!

    OMG! jus when i thought today could not get any worse….my baby KDW stay safe happy and healthy! you will be missed ๐Ÿ™ KDW fighting fighting!

    PS: i was actually looking forward to seeing his military cut…curious actually….hmmm im wondering if he has made a bad move by not doing the whole press/fan service thing…the press usually gets super nasty if they dont get what they and some fans as well…oh well see you in two years u cutie oppa person saranghae!! <3 <3

    • 10.1 oh! tht! chick!

      now tht i think abt im kinda sad he dint do it….i mean its his choice at the end of the day and all….but mark me up as selfish fan who’d want to see her fav actor once before he leaves for 2 whole years ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ i really really wonder why he did it like this…doesn’t he care? not bashing or anything( as if i could looool he is jus too cute and im that vain :P) just curious is all? dint he think abt his fans at all? sigh sigh if only there was a hidden cam when his agency was planning this out and now we’ll never know

  11. 11 hmm...

    now all that is left is for the
    “last photos before enlistment” photoshoots to come out

  12. 12 stopsearch

    Maybe it’s because he didn’t like his hair cut… I’m just kidding

    But I will miss his work – at least we have psychic to look forward to.

  13. 13 Yeeee

    Ohh.. Go Joo-Won is enlisted into the military service!

    I quite like his acting in OB&GY Doctors, a super passionate & caring pediatrician.. Now I see that he tries to make more appearance on screen before taking leave, ’cause I found it a bit weird that he appeared as a guest on RunningMan two weeks back. Anyway, it was another great episode though.

    All the best for these three! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 14 Ani

    Kang Dong-won, you will be missed (why do I make it sound like the guy just died *knocks on wood*?0. Two years is not that long. And when you return, please do a drama again for us fangirl’s sake. X)

  15. 15 xiaoSxin

    Oh no.. another great actor left.. It will be a sad two years.

    Kender, how’s your heart holding up? Your unnies are here for you.. ^^

    • 15.1 Kender

      I cried yesterday, I really did. ใ… ใ…  And it’s stupid and I so don’t care because I’m SAD.

      If he had to go anyway, he should’ve at least let me see his military cut. I could’ve used a giggle yesterday..

      *chants* Only two years, only two years, only two years..

  16. 16 hjkomo

    Go Koo Won is that young?!!! o_O

    • 16.1 KathyD

      That’s what I thought too!

  17. 17 kinky_mode

    after I’ve read your article I watched Secret Reunion… and I have such a sweet taste after this movie … with WooChi I had so much fun…. and Secret reunion was so touching and sweet and sometimes sad… I LOVE Kang Dong Won ‘s voice… and love his acting ( do I sound like a crazy fangirl?not yet? )

    I wonder why did he enter in the army in a secrecy ? yeah I know action hero doing desk jobs … well someone must do those jobs too
    in fact he drew more attention with the whole quiet entrance
    C’mon is KDW we are talking about… nothing can be quiet about him for the reasons jb just wrote above:
    I guess the bigger the star, the bigger the targetโ€ฆ

    KDW love…we the fangirls are waiting for you don’t … worry( watchin the finale again … spoiler alert…. KDW as father is total love)

    • 17.1 newfan

      secret reunin was subtle yet sweet, i love the comedy although i did teared watching one of the scenes…

      KDW and the other male lead were totally rocking the show. worth-watching and i hope 2 years pass by quickly.

  18. 18 Keylye


  19. 19 jfc

    Will really miss you Kang Dong Won! You’ll still be a superstar when you come out and hope for a long and varied career for you when you do. (please do a drama or film with Son Ye Jin…or make pretty babies ; ))

    The more I look at you the more beautiful you are. There is just something magical about you. love you so much!! Be Well and God speed.

  20. 20 Carinne

    Have a great adventure in-service KDW.

    I don’t know how long of a wait do I need to watch Psychic; it looks wickedly good. I can’t wait.

  21. 21 Atsirk

    NOOOOOO….my heart is crushed ๐Ÿ™
    Well, do come back hotter and sexier, KDW ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. 22 momosa

    I read somewhere he had suffered a shoulder dislocation before so he’s not likely to be assigned to strenuous work.

    I’m going to miss his work, the last time I waited patiently was for Yoon Kye Sang.

  23. 23 dit

    Just curious, why is he serving civil duty? Does he have some sort of injury?

    • 23.1 belle

      yes, because of his shoulder dislocation.

      I’ll waitin u Wonnie….

  24. 24 celestialorigin

    Noooo, KDW, without saying Good bye???? This obasan is going to miss you very much ;( Take care, eat & sleep well and come back…

  25. 25 kiara

    stay healthy n gudluck….
    we always support u in what ever you do…fighting!
    love u KDW ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. 26 mean

    pretty much disappointed with the whole secrecy of his entering the army…and not showing up for the press. he doesn’t care for this simple gestures, why give so much importance to him.
    So sad really ๐Ÿ™

  27. 27 Jennn

    awww…I cant believe he’s gone for 2 years!!! but can we write to him??? anyone knows???

  28. 28 apple pie

    Mr Kang, was too long overdue for military service !

    In Korea, a solid family background still helps a lot , LOL !

    Who knows, he might not even there at Nonsan :p

  29. 29 Dory

    Sad eyes has gone ๐Ÿ™

  30. 30 tรผlin

    I wish him a mail directly if Is there no one who knows that I am far away from this world ฤฑ am living to tรผrkiye

    thank you

    need to believe in miracles

  31. 31 Alvina

    Random (I came back to this article ’cause of KDW) but I just realized how much Go Joowon and Kim Kyujong from SS501 look alike lol.

    Anyway, miss these guys :/

  32. 32 krjplover

    ha~ this explain why he been so quite.. i’m waiting news from him without noticed he went to military almost a year and a half.. just need to wait for another month.. yeay.. hehe

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