BY Julie Jones | Jun 18, 2015 12:55 PM EDT
While all Korean males, age 18 to 35, must serve two years of mandatory military duty, some assignments are more dangerous than others. Singer and actor Kim Hyun Joong has received one of the most dangerous assignments, patrolling the Korean Demilitarized Zone or DMZ. That's the strip of land that separates North and South Korea.
It is one of the most heavily militarized borders in the world. Despite an armistice, North Korea has launched more than two-dozen attacks at the border since the 1950s. The latest took place on October 10, 2014 when North Korean forces fired anti-aircraft rounds at propaganda balloons launched from Paju, a city in the Gyeonggi Province, just south of the border. South Korean military returned fire after giving a warning.
Kim entered the army on May 12 and as of June 18 has completed his basic training. And he has been assigned to Paju, the site of many U.S. and Korean army bases. Kim reports to Paju on June 19 and will serve there with the border patrol.
He heads to Paju without the chance to see friends and family again or to confer in person with his lawyers.
Enlisted men might normally be granted leave to visit family and friends after they complete basic training and attend a graduation ceremony. However soldiers are not being allowed to leave their bases due to the MERS scare, which has so far infected over 150 people in Korea and killed 19. His friends and family could also not attend his graduation ceremony.
His inability to leave base may also complicate his ongoing legal battles with his ex-girlfriend identified only as Choi. She recently sued him for $1.44 million. She is claiming that an alleged incident of physical abuse in 2014 caused her to miscarry a pregnancy. His legal team says that she has not provided evidence of that pregnancy or a miscarriage.
His legal team is preparing a countersuit for approximately $1 million claiming that her allegations amount to defamation of character.
After Choi accused Kim of assault, then dropped the charges, the couple reunited briefly before breaking up. Choi is currently pregnant with the singer's child and has cited a September due date. Kim Hyun Joong asked to delay his enlistment to deal with these personal issues but that leave was denied.
Kim Hyun Joong's military service ends on February 11, 2017. Kim was last seen in the drama "Inspiring Generation" and is best known for his roles in "Playful Kiss" and "Boys Over Flowers."
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