Actor Park Hae Jin is being investigated for evading South Korea’s two-year mandatory military service by falsely claiming to suffer from mental conditions.
Last week, police stated that they would investigate a hospital in Daegu on charges that its neuropsychiatry department had been providing false medical reports for men who wished to evade military service. Because military service law exempts neuropsychiatric patients who have been treated for six months or hospitalized for over one month, with these medical reports, draft evaders would be rendered unfit for service.
Park Hae Jin was in the department records as having received outpatient treatment from June 2003 to March 2004. During this time, he was prescribed medication for schizophrenia. In March 2004, he became exempt from fulfilling his two-year military duty.
On Friday, Park’s lawyers, Yoon & Yang LLC, released a statement denying the suspicion. The statement clarified that Park had not been exempted for schizophrenia, but for depression and social phobia. Park had been suffering from depression from a very young age, and was treated at the hospital from June 2003 to November 2005.
The statement also reported that Park had not debuted on TV until 2006, when he appeared in the drama “The Infamous Chill Sisters”, and so his exemption in March 2004 rendered invalid any claim that Park had evaded the draft to continue his career as an actor uninterrupted.
Park is willing to take a reexamination to prove his innocence. The statement read: “Park believes there is nothing to hide as long as he is guilty about nothing and believes the entire truth must be opened to the public. The ruling came six years, ago but if he is judged to have a body that is healthy enough to serve in the military compared to the past, he will happily do so.”
If police investigation reveals that the hospital is guilty of aiding draft evaders, Park Hae Jin’s case will be handed over to the Military Manpower Administration.