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!
Via Star News
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- Thriller film Psychic releases character posters and stills
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