May 17, 2011 09:51
The Economist weekly likens actor Hyun Bin, who is serving in the Marine Corps, to the King of Rock and Roll. In a column titled "Hallyu Elvis and the draft-dodger," the magazine notes "hugely popular" actor's "preference for the Elvis Presley route to service."
Presley enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 23 in 1957, when his popularity was at its peak, and served for two years.
"Every South Korean man of sound mind and body is obliged to complete 21 months of compulsory military service," the weekly wrote. "For those with enough money or influence though, the temptation to cheat one's way out of early mornings, crew cuts and square bashing is often too much to resist."
Hyun "last week embarked on the toughest assignment of all: a posting with the Marines, to Baeknyeong Island -- close to the Northern Limit Line and Yeonpyeong, where last November's lethal North Korean bombardment took place."
The magazine contrasts Hyun with rapper MC Mong, who was given a six-month suspended sentence for draft dodging. "MC Mong, having been seen as trying to sidestep his national duty, will have a harder time turning his service into a virtue. A quick march towards career oblivion seems more likely."
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