Former PR Agent Lee Joon Gi Sounds Off About The Scandal That Led To The Elimination Of The Army Promotional Support Brigade
By Jesse Lent | July 31, 2013 11:29 AM EDT
Actor and singer Lee Joon Gi spoke out about the scandal over the Defense Media Agency's now defunct Promotional Support Brigade, at a press conference on Wednesday for the upcoming television drama "Two Weeks."
Lee previously served as a PR agent in the now infamous Promotional Support Brigade, which was eliminated earlier this month, following accusations that the South Korean Army unit was offering celebrity soldiers' preferential treatment, according to the publication eNEWS.
"It was just sad," the actor said about the controversy.
Yet he stopped short of criticizing the military's decision.
"It's not something for me to say, or argue about," Lee said. "The Ministry of National Defense made its decision, and I can′t say anything about that."
All eligible males between the ages of 18 and 35 currently must enroll for between 21 and 24 months of army service in South Korea (the length of mandatory enrollment changes by several months depending on which branch of the military that they serve in) in a practice known as conscription.
The problems for the National Ministry of Defense began when a camera crew from the news program "Scene 21" caught members of the promotional support brigade wandering the streets after curfew out of uniform, chatting on their cellphones and purchasing alcohol at 2 a.m.
K-pop singer Sangchu and Se7en were filmed visiting a massage known for providing erotic services.
Lee implored those in power to take the proper steps in the wake of the PR agent scandal, to prevent such embarrassing incidents from happening again.
"I hope nothing like that happens again after proper measures are set in place. I hope the Ministry [of Defense] builds a good system in the future."
Se7en and Sangchu were sentenced to 10-days in military jail last week. Five other active recruits previously serving as PR agents were sentenced to four-day incarceration at the military prison or "guardhouse" for using cellphones in the "Scene 21" footage, according to the Korea Star Daily.
K-pop singer KCM was among those who received a four-day sentence.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense announced that the famous recruit, who was originally scheduled to be honorably discharged on Wednesday, would not complete his military service until Sunday.
For famous recruits still serving in the country's military, an army spokesperson said there won't be any preferential treatment.
"It hasn't been decided yet on what posts [former PR agents from the Promotional Support Brigade] will be assigned to or what units they'll be sent to, but what is certain is that there will be no preferential treatment," the spokesperson told the publication eNEWS.
"They will all serve as ordinary soldiers with the others."
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