K-pop star Rain in military faces punishment
South Korean pop star Rain, who embarked on two years of military service in 2011, is facing possible military punishment for meeting with a famous Korean actress while on duty during his military service.
According to South Korea's defence ministry, the 30 year-old -whose official name is Jung Ji-hoon- met with actress Kim Taw-hee at least three times last year. These rendezvous break the rules that forbid Rain from having private meetings when he is off-base on official military business, which included recording and performing for the military's entertainment corps. Also, Rain allegedly violated army regulations by not wearing his military cap when he was off-base
Incriminating pictures taken by paparazzi caused a public outcry and thousands signed an online petition calling for an investigation into preferential treatment. Rain is serving mandatory service required of all abled-bodied South Korean men for two or three years, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Technically, South Korea is still at war with the North since the conflict was ended by a ceasefire and not a peace treaty.
As to his dating with Kim Tae-hee, Rain's agents have not confirmed nor denied the romance, yet Kim's management agency said in a statement that the 32-year-old actress has been dating Rain for a month.
According to the ministry, the pop star Rain has admitted that he broke the rules and said he will practice “self-restraint.”
Rain is expected to be discharged on July 10 this year, excepting any punishment that might extend his service time like it happened to Psy –known for his phenomenal hit Gangnam Style- who was forced to repeat his military service for reportedly neglecting his duties.
Rain began his career in 2002 and became part of the Korean Wave of drama and popular music and has spread in Asia. He won the top spot in the 2001 TIME 100 poll and his 2004 album It's Raining sold 1m copies and he appeared in several movies, including Hollywood production Speed Racer in 2008.