Lee Jong Seok the New Face of Korean Tourism and Receives August Enlistment Notice

Another one may be headed off to the military in what has been a steady drumbeat of enlistment in the last three months alone. Actor Lee Jong Seok has received his military enlistment notice for August 10th which is right around the corner, and his agency confirms the notice but Lee Jong Seok has not determined whether he will enlist then or ask for a deferral. Lee Jong Seok is scheduled to promote his movie VIP next month as well as the September premiere of K-drama While You Were Sleeping with Suzy. He could skip the promotion and enlist of course but it’s still a decision to be made with his agency and production companies, not to mention the bad timing that he was just selected as the news celebrity spokesperson for the Korean Tourism Organization. I’ll be sad to see him go but sometimes biting the bullet is best and I’m not sure his promotion will have much impact on the success or lack therof with those two projects.



Lee Jong Seok the New Face of Korean Tourism and Receives August Enlistment Notice — 44 Comments

  1. Wow, bad luck on the timing. At least he’s done filming. It would be weird to promote his film and drama without him, but at least they’re done.

    The various companies he’s signed up with for modeling/advertising probably aren’t excited (Samsonite/Siegfahrenheit). Unless they’ve already finished all their photoshoots for the year? I guess they have to let him go, though.

    Wouldn’t the tourism organization be related to the government somehow? I guess agencies don’t necessarily talk to each other… That one in particular seems unfortunate timing.

  2. May I ask, why is he given early notice?? Is that possible? I thought mandatory military enlistment are for those nearing their 30s, just like the exodus of 87’ers Hallyu actors this year.

    • Actually mandatory enlistment starts at 20. Most Korean makes join in their early twenties but celebrities tend to post pone it to the very last minute

  3. i read somewhere that the korean army decides for the enlistment of celebrities so whenever they are called to enlist they should do it, it doesn’t matter if they are in their 30s already or not. this is also why other celebrities (older than jongsuk) haven’t enlisted yet, they haven’t received any notice yet. so unfortunate ?

  4. He should just enlist. I mean, nothing is really stopping him. His movie and drama filmings are over and he hasn’t got anything except maybe endorsement deals. He is going to public service anyway (probably a reason why he joined YG). His image is already so-so (only his fangirls think he is unreachable acting genius). Not that I care for his comeback, but now would be good to get over with his public service.

      • His nose looks fake and so does his smile.. well, his attitude controversies have proved that he is a fake person anyway…

    • No one expects every single actor to equally appeal to every single person. But even if his acting does not move you, there are many people who actively seek out his work because of his strong performance. (I don’t just mean giggling fangirls.) We all come to the screen with different life experiences, worldviews, and expectations. There are popular actors whose work just leaves me feeling…nothing. But I still feel like the reactions of another viewer who loves that actor are valid.

      I’m sorry you can’t relate to his acting. But I’m happy that I can!

      • Notable to me besides his acting talent is the fact that he doesn’t criticize others, the fact that he is always challenging himself instead of staying inside his comfort zone, and his ego-free attitude of acknowledging his weaknesses (like his fear of public speaking, etc.) If someone has talent and they make a point to treat other people with respect and kindness, I will ALWAYS make a point to seek out their work.

  5. Isn’t he doing his master degree right now? I mean I don’t know about Korea but in my country there’s no need to go to MS while you are studying at university !
    Plus this is so weird to see someone is selected as a Face of country to promote its tourism then again go to MS for the the same country at the same time! Timing is so strange.

    • I thought he already graduated, no? If 87-88 liners haven’t enlisted yet, then I don’t see why LJS should enlist right now, although the sooner he does it, the better it would be for him.

      • He graduated with a B.A. degree last year but started his Master’s degree the same time, no way he has finished it till now. I think it’s better for him to do it sooner but not for production teams, his CF companies and on the top of it Korea Tourism Organization while YG never confirmed the rumored date of his enlisting or serving as a public service, even though It seems the public service thingy may be true because of his Knee injury which caused him resting for 6 months and stopping Taekwando training while had a 4th dan black belt in it.

      • Interesting… I thought he majored in film&theater, graduated (in 2014?) and now he is only attending classes to practice his acting. As far as I know, the obligatory service time can’t be pushed back for masters degree? But I’m not quite sure.

  6. Please commit before enlisting otherwise you may lose her..

    Was hoping he would complete military service and discharged as an exemplary soldier rather than public service.

    In any case serve your duty well and see you in two years’ time.

    • If she (whoever she is) can’t wait, then the relationship wasn’t on a strong foundation anyway thus the separation was for better.. 😉
      Also, if he really takes up public service, then we won’t have to wait for 2 years for his comeback. On the side note, where is Lee Seung Gi by the way? It feels like 3 years already that he enlisted…

  7. He should just go. And fyi thought enlistment is before 29. And deferment for MS- thought it is for undergraduate degree?

    As someone who grew up in a MS country… just stop beating around the bush and just go. There’s never a perfect time to go anyway and it’s just excuses. From fans. Agency. Or the actor. If you’re called up you’re called up.

    • Exactly, I agree. My brother committed his year and a half long military service as soon as he graduated from high school and now he enrolled to university. The earlier one completes military service, the better. I’ve read also that he is going to public service because of his former injury (well, we will never know the real reason) but it’s shorter than active duty anyway, so I don’t understand why he isn’t enlisting now that he hasn’t got any projects coming…

      • In my country even if you are doing your Ph.D, you can postpone your MS but there is a law here that there shouldn’t be any break between your degrees, If you got a break between them no university can accept you because for signing in any university here you need the military permission first weather it an undergraduate degree or higher ones, but I don’t know how the rules work in Korea.

    • i dont think the issue is his degree its his other committments. except kang haneul all the other actors finsished their projects first and did everything required for them. ji chang wook even got to have his farewell fan meeting so i dont think its fair to ask ljs to just leave everything and enlist immediately.

  8. All going in who are going out, some may not like him and his acting bug for me he will always one of those i like to watch

  9. just serve lee jong suk and be free forever.2 years will come to pass in a thinkle of an eye.wishing you a safe and peaceful military enlistment life.

    • Totally agree! If I were a guy, I would have enlisted as soon as I graduated from college or even after high school just because I want it to be done and over with so I can enjoy life freely.

  10. But i have seen at least two different sources saying that his agency announced that although he recieved his draft the date is not specified yet and he will most probably complete his movie and drama promotions before he leaves so which one is the right. Even if the date is 10 august i dont get why such a short notice they didnt even give him a full month to settle his affairs? Is it always like this?

  11. i dont think the issue is his degree its his other committments. except kang haneul all the other actors finsished their projects first and did everything required for them. ji chang wook even got to have his farewell fan meeting so i dont think its fair to ask ljs to just leave everything and enlist immediately.

    • Just excuses from his fans 🙂
      He will most likely do it 2 yrs later or at least after his promotions, but since Park Geun Hye gate, even YG’s actions have become more transparent. He won’t be able to get special treatment or into Gangnam celeb unit, since they are taking it away due to public uproar. The public will become more angered if he takes the easiest route. MS is not a joke to them and it’s better not to play with peoples sentiments.

      • yeah i am a fan of his acting but i am not saying it because of that if it was any other actor i would have thought the same about this issue. and no i am pretty sure he wont postpone it for two whole years, he cares about his image and people’s opinions too much to do that. but i really think he should postpone it it till afte his promotions or atleast a few weeks till everything is set in order its not like he’s pushing the age limit.

  12. To all his haters who doesn’t follow him and curious people, he already cancelled his next movie Witch that indicates a lot am I right. And he got his knee injury when he was young and advised to home school for 6 months. That time he discovered full house while he stayed at home and dreamt to be like Rain someday.

  13. They gave him three weeks! (July 21 letter–August 10 entrance date.) The masters degree is probably a stretch, but most people do need more than three weeks to get ready to leave for two years. (In many countries, you have to give at least two weeks’ notice at a job and a month’s notice to terminate a housing contract, if not more.) Celebrity status, or not, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a few more weeks to sew up loose ends.

    • LJS is not the only one who got short notice. I don’t follow all k-celebs news, but I know at least another k-celeb who got short notice ~3 weeks. no time for fan meet or any event at all.

      • Wow. (I don’t care if you’re a celebrity or not, that just seems like a very tight timeline.) Did the guy actually make it in within three weeks, or did he get any extension at all?

      • @GLR: No extensions. I don’t have the inside news, so I don’t know whether he requested for extensions. Based on earlier interviews, he seems to be prepared to go anytime. He went in at the stipulated date. Latest news is he is doing really well in his active duty military service. As someone mentioned that k-male-celebs and their agency know it can happen any time, so they need to be prepared all the time. My view as a fan – get it done and over with it. If they are in acting industry, who knows maybe this experience in the army will give you a better perspective in life and make you a better actor.

      • Wow. I guess you live with a packed suitcase by your nightstand, ready to grab at a moment’s notice, then. It will be interesting to see who wins here, the military board or YG. Who was the other guy?

  14. I thought I read where celebrities were no longer getting any exemptions. I don’t know if that rule has started, but – if so – he’ll be heading off. I find him to be kind of a middle of the road kind of actor, but he seems like a sweetie and all around good guy so wish him the best.

  15. To be fair, he probably has been given years since his first notice. All celebs then use school as an excuse to extend. Once you hit a certain age, extension is not possible anymore. Where a few weeks is fair or not fair? It’s the same letter is to all Koreans then it’s fair. Just because a celeb has more contractual agreements or fans does not make them any special. We should stop comparing their system to any other system. Tell the average Korean men that your Oppa is unfairly treated you will probably get a raging look.

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