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Korean Military Service with Park Jinwoo:

We've managed to get in contact with Park Jinwoo, which he kindly accepted to give us an interview to know more about what happens when doing the military service, the pros, cons, and his personal experience and opinion.

(Park Jinwoo. Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

Currently undergoing army service, and asked him some questions about his view on the Korean army.

Jinwoo served in the marine corps for ten months and got elected to the special force due to his excelling physical skills. He is 20 years old and decided that joining the army early on would be better, so he enrolled voluntarily.

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

Even though his family members also served in the marine corps, they were not as pleased with his decision to follow in their footsteps. It is pretty well-known that the duty of the marine corps is more complicated and training is more exhausting, but on top of that, he was also warned about the violence that can take place there. 

Enjoying these delicious Korean snacks are a must! Seoulbox

Though Jinwoo joined the army on his free will, he doesn't believe that the service should be mandatory for everyone. He states: "No one would like to serve two years in the army with little pay".

Jinwoo also comments on women's involvement in army service, highlighting that while some women choose to go to the army and can even participate in war, none of them become soldiers: "Women are here, but they are not soldiers, but officers. What a paradox, they can be a general, they can be in a war but to be a soldier is only for men"

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

The question of mandatory serving comes up when we think about idols too. The majority of them showcase qualities of soft masculinity on stage, and many are shocked when they find out that the same idols have to enroll in 2-year army service. However, when it comes to a question of national identity and unity, they are in no position to go against national values.

Jinwoo also believes that it's right for idols to enroll in the army but questions the definition of an "idol": whether it's fame, media exposure, or amount of Instagram followers. And even if society decides to spare some idols from army service, he wonders where would be the borderline for classifying an idol as "worthy" of military exemption and the ones that are not. 

(SHINee’s Minho, Infinite’s Sungyeol, Infinite’s Dongwoo. Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

(KARD's J. Seph. Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

(Highlight’s Son Dongwoon, Former Wanna One member Yoon Jisung, Highlight’s Lee Gikwang, EXO’s Xiumin. Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

(SHINee's Key. Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

Another burning question for people residing in Korea and the whole world would be relationships with North Korea. While the relations with a neighboring country are uncertain, serving in the military must be pretty stressful, as you never know what the next day holds for you.

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

Despite that, Jinwoo is skeptical about North Korea being a legitimate threat, even though there are occasional attacks. He sees them as just a means to keep South Korean citizens in fear, but nothing more. 

Overall, Jinwoo has a very realistic outlook on the army service and takes pride in his duty while staying open to any discussions on Korean army service.

Author: Irina & Aldo

1 Comment

Very interesting

Lisa Lou | June 04, 2022

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