Yoo Ah In’s military service issues Q&A summary: Staying true to facts
The majority of Korean people understood and sympathized with Yoo Ah In’s condition after he released his official statement (read here) regarding his military service postponement. But, there’s still a few people (particularly the international readers) who failed to grasp the meaning of his statement, and drew the wrong conclusion.
A daum article released the summary of Yoo Ah In’s military service issues in the Q&A form for Korean people, and we translate this to people who want a brief explanation about his situation from the experts and Yoo Ah In’s statement. Here you go:
Yoo Ah In has been repeatedly doing the physical examinations for enlistment, but he hasn’t made through it yet. In December 2015, 2nd and 3rd May 2016, he was given the 7th grade verdict as the result of the draft physical examination, which means a “grading hold”, and now he is waiting for the fourth physical re-examination in March.
Yoo Ah In’s re-examination issue resurfaced when there was casting news about the tvN drama “Chicago typewriter” being his next work. People wondered when he was going to enlist or why he was avoiding military service, etc. Even after they found out he was diagnosed with a benign bone tumor on February 15th, suspicious risen due to misleading reports.
Based on the interview with the Military Medical Officer, Orthopedic Specialist, Military Manpower Administration, and Yoo Ah In’s official statement, here’s the Q&A Summary regarding his military service problem.
Q1. What kind of disease is a bone tumor that Yoo Ah In suffers?
“A bone tumor is a tumor that develops in the bones and includes any cartilage associated with it, it usually appears in the joint of the bones. Abnormal growths found in the bone can be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). If it is benign, it can be treated regularly. But if it is malignant, it becomes a problem.” (Orthopedic Surgeon)
Q2. What is Yoo Ah In’s current health status?
“Although that can’t be predicted accurately, but the fracture injury will heal naturally. And if the abnormal development of the bone tumor does not progress any further, it seems that the fulfillment of my military service obligations will become fully possible.” (Yoo Ah In)
Q3. How was the process of discovering a bone tumor and getting re-examined?
“In the year 2013, I got injured during filming an action scene in the movie ‘Tough as Iron’, and suffered a rupture in the muscle on the right shoulder. In 2014, during the filming of the film ‘Veteran”s action scene, the pain in the injured area has intensified, causing a relapse. In 2015, I was undergoing an MRI scan for the affected area and was diagnosed with right shoulder ‘muscle rupture (SLAP)’. In addition, during the examination, a ‘bone tumor’ was found in the area attached to the rotator cuff joint of the same shoulder, and it was concluded that it requires careful observation. According to the expert’s opinion on my physical condition at the time, I was not able to perform the normal military duty.
In December 2015, the medical certificate was submitted to the Daegu Regional Military Manpower Administration. And after going through the physical examination, I received a grade 7 verdict, which means a grading hold. It is a judgment to be given to a person who is under the military service examination and who needs a follow-up observation for an injury or a disease. It is not an ‘alternative service’ judgment that is equivalent to the fourth grade of military service, nor is it a fifth grade ‘military service exemption’.” (Yoo Ah In)
Q4. If he is diagnosed with a bone tumor, can he be classified for public service?
“Osteosarcoma [cancerous tumor in a bone] is qualified as a reason for military exemption because it is malignancy [becomes progressively worse]. However, in the case of benign bone tumor, it depends on the degree of dysfunction. If there’s no dysfunction, then a person can serve active duty. Even if there is a functional disability [a functional disability limits a person’s ability to perform physical activities, needs long-term care], various judgment will be given depending on the degree or the tumor condition; from active duty, to public service worker, to exemption.” (Military Medical Officer / Military Manpower Administration)
Q5. In case of a bone tumor, if it’s benign doesn’t grow in size, is it necessary to get a biopsy?
“Monitoring progress takes priority here. Even though the size might remain the same, depending on the tumor type and location, the classification of the tumor can be different. And because the type of the tumor is also important, a biopsy may be needed depending on the circumstances.” (Orthopedic Surgeon)
Q6. Are there any difficulties in daily life for patients with benign bone tumors?
“Case by case.” (Orthopedic Surgeon) [Note: the most common sign of bone tumor is persistent or increasing pain in the region of the tumor. This also happened to Yoo Ah In, but as his agency stated, there are no difficulties in his day-to-day life/he can do his daily activities normally]
Q7. Yoo Ah In was born in 1986, is it too late to enlist?
“If you are being re-examined, you can be re-examined up to 34 years of age. After receiving the final grade, you can enlist. Men under 36 are eligible for military service.” (Military Manpower Administration)
Q8. Is there a re-examination period?
“If you are being re-examined for the same reason, the maximum period for re-examination is 2 years. Since he (Yoo Ah In) started being examined in December 2015, he can be re-examined until December 2017 [that would be the last re-examination].” (Military Manpower Administration)
Q9. How is he having an enlistment issue, yet he’s going to film a tvN ‘Chicago Typewriter’ which will broadcast in March?
“The drama is still under review.” (Agency)
Q10. Why is it possible to cast Yoo Ah In in ‘Chicago Typewriter’ [that will be filmed in March while the re-examination will be in March too] when he has not solved his military enlistment problem yet?
“The drama ends at the end of May, and the result of his March re-examination will be given in June. So reviewing/filming a March drama is possible.” (Drama Official)
(Reporter Kim Yeon Ji)
Note: Helpful medication page for benign bone tumor http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/benign-bone-tumors
This source says that it involves persistent pain and weakens the bones. Some benign tumors occasionally are locally aggressive tumors that can progressively destroy the infected area. The solution for it most of the time is: surgery. And like what the doctors have done with Yoo Ah In: it needs observation first to ensure that the tumor is not growing or showing signs of being aggressive. Then and only then, doctors perform the needed surgery.
If some people outside Korea (even worse, some of them pretending to be a Korean) still don’t believe in his statement or think that he’s making an excuse to escape or misusing the grade, then they refuse to acknowledge the facts happening in Korea: If Yoo Ah In’s letter was truly riddled with inaccuracies, medical experts and military man power administration wouldn’t have been backing his statement, Koreans would have roasted his ass and turned against him with facts, but they sympathized with him immensely. Most of the commenters in the most popular/highest upvoted article about this issue and instagram-sphere are guys who actually have already served. They showed nothing but admiration to Yoo Ah In and his honesty.
Koreans feel strongly about the military service rules. Millions of men young and old have served in Korea. Korean men and women know every little detail about military, all of their siblings and family members have served. If Yoo Ah In or another celebrity cited meaningless lies or excuse, they will end his career. They know what “holding grade” (7th grade) is. If they knew that holding grade can be misused, they would have doubted all of his letter and roasted him again, but they didn’t. This is a country where men are obliged to serve, so they know all the details, rules and even evasion tactics.
Some people outside Korea are claiming that they know more than all of the Koreans when it comes to enlistment rules. Instead of acting as if you “know” better about the rules of enlistment in Korea and accusing Yoo Ah In using mysterious loopholes and fooling the whole nation, read a book and go out the house if you have a lot of free time. Cheers!
Let’s send Yoo Ah In a good vibe and keep praying for his fast recovery, everybody! 😀