The South Korean Defense Ministry handed down the lightest possible punishment to pop star Rain after it was discovered he was dating an actress while on military duty, according to news reports.
A military disciplinary committee said it ordered Rain to not leave his unit for one week, after the singer was spotted with Kim Tae-hee last month, Yonhap News reported.
The disciplinary committee said it has made the decision as Corporal Jung “breached instructions,” which prevent soldiers from making private contact with civilians while on duty.
The top singer, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, is now serving as what the military has dubbed an “entertainment soldier” in a military unit that provides programming for TV and radio to promote the military. During his probation period, Jung will not be allowed to leave his unit, the committee said.
The military’s alleged special treatment of celebrities on service has frequently been the subject of criticism from opposition lawmakers during regular parliamentary audits into government offices.
According to the ministry, Rain spent 71 days off duty last year, his first year serving in the military unit. The number is much larger than the average 43 days given to ordinary soldiers from 2009 through last year. He will be discharged in July.
South Korea’s mandatory military service of 21 months for all able-bodied males is a sensitive issue that often elicits strong reactions from the public.