A popular TV actor who enlisted in the Marine Corps last month for his mandatory military service has been assigned to serve on a frontline island on the Yellow Sea border with North Korea, Marine officials said Monday.
Hyun Bin, 29, who starred in "Secret Garden," one of this season's most popular TV dramas in South Korea, is scheduled to finish six weeks of basic training this week and will serve in the 6th Marine Brigade on Baengnyeong Island, the Marine Headquarters said in a statement.
The Marine Corps had preliminarily planned to assign Hyun to public relations duty at the Marine Headquarters in the city of Hwaseong, south of Seoul, but made the final decision on his assignment to show that he will not receive special treatment.
An official at the Marine Headquarters said, "The decision reflected people's hopes that actor Hyun Bin serves as an ordinary combat soldier."
Some critics had recently raised speculation that Hyun may receive special treatment as he was initially assigned to serve in PR, which is generally less dangerous.
All able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve at least two years in the military, which faces North Korea's 1.1 million-strong armed forces across a heavily guarded border.