South Korean pop star Rain begins mandatory military service
South Korean music star Rain salutes fans Tuesday before entering boot camp in in Uijeongbu, north of of Seoul.
October 11th, 2011
12:52 PM ET

South Korean pop star Rain begins mandatory military service

Korean pop and movie star Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, joined his country’s military Tuesday, according to news reports.

“Thank you for coming. I’m sorry to make such a fuss while leaving. I’ll be back from my duties soon,” Rain told about 1,000 fans near a military base in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, the Korean Times reported.

The celebrity thanked screaming fans, managed a grin and gave them a solemn military salute before retreating into the camp. The farewell lasted five minutes, the Korean Times reported.

Rain, 29, will serve in the military for about 22 months. By law, all South Korean males must serve their country for two years by the end of the year they turn 30. Rain, who has been an international music star for about a decade, has chosen to cut it close.

Major League Baseball's Shin-Soo Choo faced a similar situation last year, narrowly avoiding compulsory military service by cashing in on a gold medal exemption offered by the government when his South Korean national team won it all at the Asia Games.

On Tuesday, hundreds of foreign journalists and fans came from as far away as Japan and Hong Kong to see Rain begin his compulsory service.

Rain, a major part of the rise in Korean pop internationally, was named one of Time Magazine's Most Influential People in the World.

He begin his movie career in 2006 with the popular Korean film “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK.” Hollywood came calling shortly after when he was cast in 2008’s “Speed Racer.” He then went on to star in “Ninja Assassin.”

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Filed under: South Korea • World
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Chaycya

    Cool..chukkanta rain..your country proud of you

    October 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat2u.

    Just wondering. Will he be given special status the same as Elvis when he went into the service ?

    October 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mei

      Not particularly, since all male citizens are required military service. He will just be considered respectable as the rest.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. L Gaz

    never heard of him

    October 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat2u.

    @Mei

    At the time Elvis was inducted into the military, it was required sevice then too. He was given special status as an entertainer. That's why I asked.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. USMC79

    Who?!?!

    October 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. marisara

    Rain will do his military service duty in South Korea as any other male in his country. His fans are very proud of him and will continue to support his career in any way possible. Recently Rain participated in a movie filmed in his country called Emergency: Closed to the Sun that will be release on January 2012. I am a fan since his last movie, Ninja Assassin and Rain has touched my heart with his music, his amazing acting skills but more important with his beauty as a human being. Before leaving to do his duty Rain did a concert series thru Korea and the last one was free so everyone could go. During his last concert his fans collected 6.6 tons of rice for the poor. I think that is an amazing example of how one person can make a difference in the world. I will miss Rain terribly because he is such a lovable person, always making jokes with a beautiful smile on his face totally different from Rayzo in Ninja Assassin. When Rain comes back from his duty he will visit the United States again to work in Hollywood, possibly with Richard Gere who said that will wait for him so they could work together. I know they will do an excellent movie because they are amazing actors who can handle any character they want to play.

    October 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gung hoe

    @ marisara you speak as you are a korean national , I just wanted to
    let you know when I was stationed in your beautiful country we had the more well to do koreans staitioned with us as I imagine thats what will happen with rain

    October 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. B.H

    I'm going to miss you Rain! What a beautiful person inside and out.

    October 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bebot27

    CLouds are missing you already. Be safe and stay healthy inside.. We will wait for your return. God bless

    October 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marie Bullard

    The hottie that played in SpeedRacer and Ninja Assassin. If your not familiar with him then you need to be. Go look him up.

    October 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sadday

    I wonder what Colbert thinks about this!

    October 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cult of Personality

    God Bless You, Jung Ji-hoon !! They ought to make it a mandated requirement right here in the U.S.A. that every teenager graduating from High School should serve at least two years in our very own U.S. Military, of course, with the option of allowing them to attend college via the ROTC program.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. joyce

    fighting, ji-hoon!! We'll wait for you!!

    October 13, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. Azuraazumi

    he's really great entertainer..working so hard to improve himself..i will support him forever...good luck Rain...

    October 28, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Funny pictures of people with captions

    It appears as though many people are considering being aware what the most recent media can be in selected celebrities, including who they are courting and which are the newest trends they're ...its funny

    February 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |