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TV stars confess to dodging draft

Sept 20,2004
The “doctored urine” draft dodging scandal, the largest on record, continues to stain celebrities.
With Korean professional baseball team members already exposed, the scandal has now extended to the entertainment industry: Three famous actors publically admitted their guilt.
Song Seung-heon, an actor well known in Japan for his roles in melodramas such as “An Autumn Tale,” voluntarily made himself available to the police yesterday after returning from shooting a movie abroad. At a press conference at Incheon International Airport, the actor apologized briefly to the public and headed straight to the police. A day earlier, the actors Jang Hyeok and Han Jae-seok and an unidentified comedian had made themselves available to police investigation.
However, despite questioning that lasted well into the night, police failed to come up with evidence that other actors might be involved in the draft-dodging schemes, as suspected.
“All acknowledged their wrongdoings, but denied the involvement of other actors,” said a police official.
Meanwhile, the police received a list of 1,700 people from the Military Manpower Administration who were exempted from military service in the past three years due to “kidney problems.” Doctored urine samples were used in the draft-dodging scheme.
The police have suspected that the beneficiaries may extent into other professional sports beyond baseball, as well as the entertainment industry. The temptation to dodge the draft is particularly high for professionals in these sectors, who maximize their earnings potential at military age.


by Brian Lee


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