Something we didn’t mention in the video was WHY Korean men have to do compulsory military service but I think most people are pretty aware of North Korea. South Korea and North Korea are still technically at war because a formal peace treaty was never signed. With such an unpredictable and unstable threat right across the border, South Korea needs a very large military force. If there wasn’t compulsory service they wouldn’t have the manpower. The issue of ending compulsory service does comes up, but with provocations every now and then from North Korea it’s very hard to even just scale it back a bit. However, the Western media always blows up the North Korea issue, so don’t think North Korea is going to launch huge attacks or anything like that.
It is interesting how people’s perceptions and views are formed by the country they grow up in. Many people understand the need for the military but there are others from countries that have no military and have a very negative view of the military that are critical of anyone who does military service. I think it’s very unfair to judge those that have to do compulsory service and it’s best to have a balanced view. Korean men that do their service don’t necessarily agree with all decisions made by the military, it doesn’t mean they agree with war, but it’s their national duty.
You get very used to the military presence in South Korea. Everywhere there are men in uniform and military vehicles and get a bunch of Korean guys together and inevitably the topic of military service will come up. Men that don’t do their service become excluded from these conversations, can find it hard to connect to other guys and can even not be hired for jobs because they didn’t do it. When the majority of the male population have given up 2 years of their life for their country, it’s important for them to see that Kpop idols are doing it too.
So what we said in the video was just our guess about Big Bang – that at least some members will likely enlist after their comeback (“comeback” in the Kpop sense of the word).
If you aren’t sure who Rachael is, we’ve interviewed her before:
Big thank you to everyone who came to the meet up! Was so nice to see everyone.
There may not be as many comics this week because we are very busy preparing for our move to Korea. We are also filming as much stuff as we can, like the Ask Korean Guys videos because we won’t be able to see Han and Sophie for several months.
He told me this story because of the Titanic thing the other day. There are a lot of really boring times when doing military service so they like to act out scenes from movies to pass the time. Of course it made sense to do Titanic scenes because they were on a ship! The poor guys who were new were bossed around by those in a higher position and made to do things like this!
Korean guys always say this is the worst dream to have! Korean guys tend to talk about their military service a lot, they reminisce about it, spend hours laughing and talking about, but if they had to go back they’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming.
My husband said in the dream they contacted him and said something was wrong and that he’d have to do his service again. He protested and said, “No no, I’ve already done it”. But they said he would have to do it again. This has actually happened to guys in real life!
I have to make it clear that this comic is NOT about my husband. It is about a friend of ours who very kindly allowed me to use the story of what happened to him while in the army. All South Korean men have to do about 2 years compulsory military duty, which they usually do in their early 20′s. Therefore Korean men have a lot of stories about being in the army. Some are sad but others, like this one, are funny.
Uh oh…. standard Army underwear has the soldier’s name on it. Technically the underwear belongs to the South Korean Army… and he used it to wipe his butt.
He was punished of course, he had to carry 40 kilos of weights and run about 5 kilometers. He laughs when he tells the story though.