Singer-soldiers caught going to a massage parlor

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Singer-soldiers caught going to a massage parlor

Two pop singers doing military duty are in hot water for carousing on duty, drinking and visiting a massage parlor in the dead of night.

Misbehavior by so-called “entertainment soldiers” always causes controversy in Korea, where all healthy males have to do military duty but don’t get cut the slack that celebrities do. Last Christmas, superstar Rain (Jung Ji-hoon) made headlines for not wearing his military beret on duty and also meeting up with his girlfriend, or in the terms of the military, indulging in “private contact.”

In the latest incident singer Seven, whose real name is Choi Dong-wook, and Sangchu, whose real name is Lee Sang-chul, are accused of visiting a massage parlor past 3 a.m. on Saturday in Chuncheon, Gangwon. Before going for their massages, the two had drinks with four other entertainment soldiers, including Rain.

The Ministry of Defense on Tuesday confirmed reporting by the broadcaster SBS on the two’s night out and said it would punish them in accordance with military laws.

The two soldiers went to Chuncheon Friday to perform for an event marking the 63rd anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War. After performing, they went drinking and ended the night with the visit to the massage parlor in the city’s bar district.

The two singers reportedly told their officers they went to the parlor to ease pain in their knees, an excuse that has drawn public ridicule.

In response to the story, the Ministry of Defense dispatched a special audit team to a PR division in charge of promoting the Army by arranging performances for entertainment soldiers.

It was reported that Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin ordered the examination of the division.

The Defense Ministry is not ruling out closing down the PR division if further misbehavior by entertainment soldiers is uncovered in the audit.



BY KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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