Rapper/entertainer MC Mong said in a press conference held earlier this week that he would like to enlist in the Korean military and serve the mandatory two year term but the current law would not allow him to. Well, it looks like there is a way for him to legally join the Army here as it was reported in Korean media today that “It is possible to reverse exemptions and join the military before the age of 40.”
An attorney specializing in military law told Sports Seoul today that, “Just because you received an exemption does not mean you can’t join the military forever. If MC Mong gets proper treatment on his teeth and recovers quickly, he’s eligible to enlist in the next eight years.” According to the lawyer, Korea’s military law specifically states that “The chief local district military administrator has the right to reverse exemption orders as long as the candidate is fully recovered and expresses the intention to join the military.” In this case, however, the person may only serve as public service personnel, which is considered to have lighter duties and more freedom compared to regular troops.
Based on this clause, (Section 65/Clause 7 of Military Law), MC Mong is eligible to reverse his military exemption order and join Korean army as long as his teeth recovers and he clearly expresses his willingness to enlist. Also, since the law states that military duties must be carried out until the age of 40, MC Mong still has more than eight years left to make up his mind.
During the press conference held earlier this week, MC Mong expressed his willingness to join the army now, but since he’s not guilty of intentionally dodging the military and his health conditions don’t meet the minimum requirements, he is unable to serve the country. “I still feel terribly ashamed. But as you all know, I can’t go to the army right now. The only way to go is to be guilty of the charges, but I can’t say I did something I didn’t do. I’m not sure how to move on at this point,” MC Mong told the press as he was found not guilty of intentionally extracting teeth in order to avoid the mandatory military service. He continued, “I think every day; how can I go to the army? I’m seeking ways the Korean people will understand and accept me.”
Koreans are extremely sensitive to military dodging scandals, especially when it comes to male celebrities. After the news of MC Mong allegedly pulling out his teeth in order to go below the minimum required number of teeth—just so he could avoid the military term—fans turned their backs on him and as a result he was dropped from every TV show he was on. MC Mong has been sentenced to a six month suspended jail term, one year probation, and 120 hours of community service for intentionally delaying his military enlistment, but was not found guilty of intentionally extracting teeth or violating military service laws.