Conscription Cloud Still Hanging Over MC Mong

Rapper MC Mong, who had some of his teeth pulled out several years ago in what some claim was a bid to escape mandatory draft, may end up being conscripted after all as the military and courts continue to investigate his case.

The rapper was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term and 120 hours of community service last April for deliberately delaying enlistment on false grounds, which included made-up studies for a civil service exam and imaginary contractual obligations.

He was also charged with seeking dental treatment to escape the draft, but was acquitted in April and subsequently held a press conference during which he expressed his desire to serve in the military if chance permitted. The irony of the situation is that the court ruling, and his age, now makes him ineligible to serve his country.

Prosecutors are now considering appealing the April ruling, while the head of the Military Manpower Administration said on Tuesday that it is looking into the possibility of MC Mong serving his military service. For this to happen legally, the rapper would need to be found guilty by a court of appeals before 2014, unless the military comes up with another solution.

"According to the law, he cannot join the military, but we have asked the Ministry of Government Legislation whether it would be possible should MC Mong wish to do so," Kim Young-woo, commissioner of the MMA, said on Tuesday.

When asked by ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Kim Ok-lee whether there is still scope for the rapper to serve in the military, the commissioner said it depends on the reaction of certain government bodies.

"If the Ministry of Government Legislation makes the decision, we will review the case accordingly," the commissioner said. "When we told MC Mong that he could serve his military duty in the form of public service if a court of appeals were to find him guilty of the original charges, he refrained from commenting on whether he was willing to do so," Kim added.

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