G-Dragon not denied promotion 'for excessive leave'

G-Dragon of South Korean boyband BigBang is currently serving mandatory military service.
G-Dragon of South Korean boyband BigBang is currently serving mandatory military service.

SEOUL • The South Korean army has shot down talk that BigBang singer G-Dragon was denied a promotion because of excessive leave-taking.

The 30-year-old, who is serving mandatory military service, was reportedly overlooked while others who enlisted at the same time as him moved up the ranks in January.

Korean news agency Dispatch attributed this to the singer's absence from his unit for 100 days.

But an army spokesman was cited by lifestyle portal Allkpop as saying: "A soldier using too many vacation days will never be the reason that he fails to rise in rank. A soldier may not advance to the next rank in the case that he fails to meet the examination requirements.

"Currently, Kwon Ji-yong (G-Dragon's real name) has utilised 76 vacation days - 47 of those days were used for medical illness/treatment."

Last year, netizens were asking why G-Dragon was warded in a private room, a perk meant for more senior staff. But the authorities rubbished talk of preferential treatment, saying the room could be used by any soldier.

Meanwhile, fans have begged Taeyang, 30, another BigBang singer who is also serving military service, not to leave the band over the recent scandals linked to G-Dragon and Seungri.

Police questioned Seungri, 28, in the middle of the week over drug use and procurement of prostitutes for important customers in his Burning Sun club.

The spate of negative publicity has led to investors dumping the shares of YG Entertainment, which manages BigBang.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2019, with the headline 'G-Dragon not denied promotion 'for excessive leave''. Print Edition | Subscribe