Asia

South Korean singer Rain in military service row

File photo: South Korean pop star Rain, October 2011
Image caption Rain is currently doing his military service

Defence officials in South Korea are investigating whether pop star Rain broke military rules after photos of him meeting an actress surfaced.

A spokesman for the defence ministry said his army unit was "looking into the matter" following a public outcry.

The 30-year-old, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, is doing compulsory military service until this year.

Thousands had signed an online petition calling for an investigation into possible preferential treatment.

All able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve time in the military - a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The South is still technically at war with North Korea, as the conflict ended in a ceasefire and not a peace treaty.

Men in military service have limited free time and are largely confined to their barracks.

'Dating'

In the past, artists have been known to try to avoid military duty, which has proved unpopular with the public.

Psy - known for his global hit Gangnam Style - was made to repeat his military service after being accused of neglecting his duties.

The report of Rain's apparent romance with popular South Korean actress Kim Tae-hee, 32, broke in local media on Tuesday.

Kim's representatives said in a statement that the two had been dating for a month.

Rain began his career in 2002 and became part of the Korean Wave of drama and popular music that has spread in Asia.

His 2004 album It's Raining sold 1m copies and he appeared in several movies, including Hollywood production Speed Racer in 2008.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites