Ah, South Korean entertainment news is almost never forgotten. On their side of the world, their 2013 was kicked off with the news of one of their biggest idols, Jung Ji-Hoon aka Rain is officially in a relationship. The news was first made into a big hoohaa by an entertainment news site, Dispatch, after paparazzi photos showed him out on the town with actress Kim Tae-hee.
The couple first met in October 2011 during a TV commercial shoot for Coupang, the social commerce web company.
Following the huge exposé, Kim Tae-hee’s agency confirmed it by saying, “It is true that they have met, but at present time they are in a process of getting to know each other more with good and positive feelings. They’ve been a couple for about a month.” (Source)
A source close to 32-year-old Kim Tae-hee also said that the beautiful actress was drawn to 30-year-old Rain’s manliness, who texted and phoned her regularly and visited her as much as he could to win her heart. They reportedly used their cars for dates or just simply stayed in at one of their houses instead of going out in public. Aww. (Source)
Rain’s agency, however, has yet to comment on the issue.
Of course, when it comes to South Korean entertainment news, secret relationships aren’t uncommon. And although fans and netizens are surprised by the news of Rain and Kim Tae-hee’s romance, a bigger problem at hand is brewing.
Rain is now facing questions regarding the photos of him and his newfound love. Seoul’s Defense Ministry said that they’re currently investigating whether Rain broke military rules by meeting Kim Tae-hee while on duty. See, the thing is, Rain is fulfilling his compulsory army service as an entertainer for the military and he’s not allowed to have private meetings while outside his Seoul base for official duties such as recording and performing.
South Korean men who are serving military duties have limited free time and are supposed to be largely confined to their barracks. But it appears that Rain took time off to record music as well as other “stand-down days” totaling a whopping 94 days off out of 422 days served. There’ s also speculation that some of those days were used to spend time with Kim Tae-hee. If the military determines that Rain broke the law or received overly preferential treatment, they could force him to serve another eighteen months of duty. (Source)
For the South Koreans, military service is a highly sensitive issue. All able-bodied South Korean men must serve about two to three years, to honour the legacy of the 1950 to 1953 Korean War. Any allegations of special treatment can spark an immediate public outcry. Previously, PSY (of “Gangnam Style” fame) was found to have abused a law allowing him to serve in a private company instead of a military outfit. In result to that, he was made to repeat his military service. (Source)
This means that even the biggest of K-Pop stars aren’t exempted from the duty.
Rain is expected to appear before a disciplinary committee this week to address the situation and to face any punishment the military may hand down. He, too, may be forced to repeat his required military service if it’s found he didn’t properly perform his duties. (Source)
That, or Rain might be in for a brief lockup in a military jail although he’s scheduled to be discharged from military duties in July 2013. Uh oh!