A 32-year-old member of a popular K-pop group faced sentencing from the Seoul Northern District Court for fabricating a mental disability to evade mandatory military service. The court imposed a one-year jail term, suspended for two years, and 80 hours of community service for violating the Military Service Act.
The defendant, who debuted with the K-pop group in 2018, received two approved physical examinations for active duty in 2011 and 2017. However, he manipulated psychological tests, presenting false symptoms, and secured a local hospital's diagnosis of a mild mental disability, which qualifies for alternative service options.
Despite the defendant's claim of a low IQ, testing at 60, the court found no evidence of a mental disability, emphasizing his successful debut and activities in the K-pop industry. Acknowledging his confession, lack of prior criminal history, and commitment to fulfilling military duties, the court handed a suspended sentence.
The case underscores the gravity of evading mandatory military service in South Korea, where all able-bodied men must serve for a minimum of 18 months. As the defendant's identity remains undisclosed, this incident raises questions about the consequences for public figures who attempt to bypass their civic responsibilities. The verdict reflects the court's recognition of the seriousness of the offence and the defendant's promise to fulfil his military obligations.