Every Korean male must serve two years in the military and has a few options to complete it. While most serve as active duty soldiers, others pass the exam to be conscripted police officers. Some of those idols include BTOB‘s Minhyuk, HIGHLIGHT‘s Yoseob and Gikwang, and many more.
However, a veteran K-Pop idol who served as a conscripted police officer exposed the prejudices Koreans held against idols for doing so.
In an episode of Neighborhood Bro Jjun, SS501‘s Kim Hyungjun opened up about being a conscripted police officer along with his friend JYJ‘s Junsu at the Gyeonggi Nambu Police Station. He didn’t hold back about the prejudices they faced from Korean citizens.
Kim Hyungjun revealed how people invalidated their military service simply because they were conscripted police officers.
At first they said things like… We’re serving a service that doesn’t seem like service. There was a lot of prejudice, to tell you the truth!
— Kim Hyungjun
Having experienced it himself, Kim Hyungjun noted that “a lot of people [were] looking with [rose] colored glasses.” Although they were conscripted police officers, he revealed they completed the same tasks as active duty soldiers. He said, “We were careful when we were serving our time. The things we did were the same as service.”
From Kim Hyungjun’s experience, the only difference between conscripted police officers and active duty soldiers was their daily tasks.
We lived in the barracks too. There was discipline. We did night watches too.
The things we did on the regular was different.
— Kim Hyungjun
As a conscripted police officer, Kim Hyungjun remembered doing over one hundred concerts for Gyeonggi’s “campaign against school violence” during the day. They also “did different acts of community service,” along with typical police tasks.
Watch Kim Hyunjun set the record straight about conscripted police officers working just as hard as active duty soldiers.