- Special Pages
SEOUL: South Korean pop icon Rain has been confined to barracks for a week, the defence ministry said yesterday, after his dating put him on the wrong side of the country’s strict military service rules.
“Under a decision by the disciplinary commission of his unit, Rain will be confined to his barracks to spend seven days of repentance,” a defence ministry spokesman said.
The 30-year-old singer is a little over halfway through the two-year military service that is mandatory for all able-bodied South Korean men.
The country’s well-oiled celebrity gossip machine went into overdrive last week when it was confirmed that Rain had begun dating Kim Tae-Hee, 32, a TV drama star with a massive following in Japan.
But fan excitement was tempered by questions over how the couple had managed numerous reported dates. During their military service men are given little free time, even for family visits.
“He breached regulations against having private meetings while on official duty,” the ministry spokesman said.
The punishment was one of the lightest options open to the disciplinary committee.
Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, is one of the biggest names in the world of K-pop, which commands a huge following in South Korea, across much of Asia and beyond.
After tabloid pictures of his dates with Kim emerged, the defence ministry’s website was bombarded with messages calling for him to be disciplined.
Some suggested he be forced to repeat his military service like the Gangnam Style star Psy, who was made to serve twice after it emerged he had furthered his showbiz interests during his first stint. AFP