Asian Entertainment News

The Asian news we find interesting from the grapevine…

Rain to Face Disciplinary Committee Next Week

By on January 7th, 2013 | Korean Entertainment

The Defense Ministry on Thursday said it confirmed that singer and actor Rain bunked off military duties to meet his girlfriend, actress Kim Tae-hee. The ministry said it considers this a violation of military regulations and will put him in front of a disciplinary committee.

Rain, who is serving in the Army entertainment corps, left his military base citing official duties on Nov. 23, Dec. 2 and 9 to work on a song for a military event at a recording studio in Gangnam. On all three occasions Rain met up with Kim between 9 and 10 p.m. after working on his music.

Kim apparently drove him back to his base in the ministry compound every time, and Rain reported back at around 10:30 p.m.

“It is true that there was contact on the way back,” ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. “Contact for private purposes can be seen as a violation of regulations.”

Rain has raised eyebrows by taking 94 days off base, or one-fifth of his 450 days of service so far, more than twice the number of average holidays enjoyed by other troops from 2009 to 2012, and that even before he has used the 28 days of regular holidays to which he is entitled.

They included 25 overnight stays at the studio. “We phoned his studio each time to confirm that he was sleeping there,” a military official said. “To our knowledge, he did not sleep outside of the studio.”

According to the spokesman, the ministry believes Rain committed only four violations — failing to wear his military cap in public and meeting Kim on those three occasions. “An entertainment corps disciplinary committee will convene next week and take necessary steps,” he said. He added that Rain is unlikely to serve time in jail but could have his holidays revoked.

The ministry said Rain admits his offenses and told his superiors that he would take time to “reflect upon his actions.”

In response to the public outcry, the ministry has also decided to come up with a new set of rules that compel entertainment corps soldiers to be accompanied by senior officers when leaving their base and to return by 10 p.m. after practicing their routines.

“We will bolster measures so that the entertainment corps will not face any more criticism over special privileges,” Kim said. “This will include steps to curb excessively long vacations.”

Some critics are calling for the corps to be dismantled, but the military is not willing to go that far. “Entertainment corps members often work weekends and even use up their holidays to practice for military performances or to appear on Army broadcasts,” said one official. “It definitely helps boost troops’ morale, so it’s better to strengthen rules than to dismantle it.”


Rain’s love life interfering with his compulsory military service?

By on January 2nd, 2013 | Korean Dramas, Korean Entertainment

South Korean pop icon Rain has come under fire after reports revealing his relationship with a top TV actress suggested he might be flouting the terms of his compulsory military service.

Rain’s relationship with Kim Tae-Hee, a major TV drama star with a massive following in Japan, was first reported Tuesday by a tabloid magazine, sparking a fan frenzy on entertainment websites and social networks.

The magazine published photos showing Kim, 32, wearing a cap and surgical mask, getting into a car driven by the singer, who is halfway through the two-year military service that is mandatory for Korean men.

“They are currently getting to know each other with feelings for each other,” Kim’s agency said in a statement later Tuesday, confirming the two had been dating for about a month.

Fan excitement over the match-up between two of the country’s most high-profile celebrities was tempered by questions over how — as reported by the magazine — the couple had managed numerous dates over the past four weeks.

During their military service, Korean men are largely confined to their barracks and given little free time.

“I don’t care whoever Rain dates … but what kind of soldier gets Christmas holiday, where most guys toil shovelling piles of snow at the frontline units in bitter cold?” said one online commentator.

One of the tabloid pictures of the couple showed Rain, 30, driving a private car in military uniform, contrary to service guidelines, and not wearing his army beret.

The defence ministry’s website has been bombarded with messages calling for Rain to be disciplined, with more than 3,000 people signing an online petition urging an investigation.

“Rain has to serve twice, just like Psy did!” said another online comment, referring to the “Gangnam Style” singer who was forced to repeat his military service after it emerged he had furthered his showbiz interests during his first stint.

Rain has been serving as an “entertainment soldier” who appears in military-run TV and radio programmes aimed at boosting morale.

The singer, 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 and across much of Asia and beyond.

A defence ministry spokesman insisted Rain had earned holiday in line with military rules, but added that his army unit was “looking into the matter” given the public clamour.

“We advise soldiers to wear proper military outfit including a beret during a holiday but a failure to do so is not a punishable crime,” the spokesman told AFP.



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