Korean singer and actor Seo In Guk is accused of neglecting treatment for his foot injury so he could be exempted from military service.
The 29-year-old enlisted in the Korean military on March 28 but was discharged four days later after he was found to be suffering from osteochondritis dissecans, a condition in the joint "in which bone underneath the cartilage of a joint dies due to lack of blood flow," according to the Mayo Clinic website.
Under the condition, the bone and cartilage can separate and cause pain and hinder joint motion, the website added. It can occur in the knee, elbow and ankle.
According to a report by Osen and Korea JoongAng Daily, Seo delayed his entry into the military in 2015 and 2016 because of his foot injury but did not focus on treating it.
"If one knows about the injury in advance, it is treatable. If the size of the damaged cartilage is large, other cartilage is transplanted from other bones and if small, scar tissue is made to heal the cartilage," an insider was quoted as saying.
After undergoing two medical checkups, Seo In Guk was exempted from military service last month.
His second medical exam was held at the Military Manpower Administration's examination center on June 5. After this, his medical condition warranted that he be exempted from military service.
The report said while the singer knew about his injury, he didn't get any treatment but would always tell the public that his great desire to enlist in the military.
His agency, Jellyfish Entertainment, was quick to deny the accusation.
"Although Seo delayed enlistment due to his injury twice before, he nevertheless joined the military on his own volition. He didn't have any knowledge that this injury could be a reason for exemption, nor did he neglect treatment on it to receive exemption," Jellyfish said.
Military service is a mandatory duty for all Korean men and stars who get exemption are often criticized by the public.