After a Korean tabloid exposed several celebrity military recruits for wearing casual clothes and using cell phones during while on duty, actor Kim Hye Sung has stepped forward to apologize.
The 24-year-old explains via his management that he had permission to go without his uniform for the day.
"Firstly, Kim Hye Sung is not a celebrity recruit," says his rep at the Namoo Actors agency. "He is a [regular private] as part of the army band CSCT3. The photo [in question] is from when the Ministry of Defense asked the CSCT3 to become an MC for an event.
"Kim was given an order to dress in casual clothes and wait, so he was waiting in his casual clothes for a while. That is when the photo [in Star News] appears to have been taken.
"In regards to the cell phone, he was asked to wear a black suit for the event he was MC'ing. He stopped at his house to pick up a suit and was told by the CSCT3 general to bring a phone if he had one so he could use it for reporting in. They were told to report back frequently. After the event, he returned his phone immediately."
Celebrity military recruits have come under fire recently in South Korea, with many believing the stars are given preferential treatment during their mandatory enlistment.
Singer Rain is enlisted as an 'entertainment solider', which means he is given extra time off for recording or performances. However, the 30-year-old was recently caught visiting girlfriend Kim Tae Hee during work hours and has been put on probation.
Kim's rep adds: "He had permission for the phone and the casual clothing, but it was definitely careless [to be photographed like that] and he should be more careful. Kim Hye Sung said to us: 'I believe it was wrong and I am deeply regretting it. I am sincerely sorry."
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