[ENG] 10.31.2017 Channel A News – Significance of Lee Seunggi’s Special Forces Training Patches & His Brigade’s Important Mission

Read English translation…

Oct. 31, 2017 – Channel A News
English: LSGfan, Video: 채널A 뉴스TOP10

(Lee Seunggi cut at 0:00~ 8:30)

Host: Attorney Park Ji Hoon will be joining us now. Welcome~ This topic is related to a celeb who was discharged from military service. Rumored theories of plans to stay in the army, rumors of applying to be a non-commissioned officer, and others. This was the chatter around a certain army-service celeb because his military service alone, seemed to go on longer. Precisely, this is about singer Lee Seunggi.

Host: You may be wondering, why are we all of a sudden talking about celebs here. Well, finally, he has been discharged today. And the unit which Lee Seunggi was serving at is known to be the one that seeks to kill and/or capture alive Kim Jong Eun. Revealed to be nicknamed the ‘Decapitation Unit,’ this is garnering a lot of buzz.

(Important Note: per this NYtimes article: South Korea Plans ‘Decapitation Unit’ to Try to Scare North’s Leaders, “The unit has not been assigned to literally decapitate North Korean leaders. But that is clearly the menacing message South Korea is trying to send.”)

Host: Attorney Park Ji Hoon, we are seeing photos of Lee Seunggi being discharged from the military today. I heard it was very impressive, that a lot of people gathered for it.

AttorneyPJH: This is Choong-Bok and several hundred fans gathered here. This is probably the most people gathered at this unit since it was first established in this location. There were a lot of fans from abroad too… Japan, Southeast Asia, Hallyu fans. I think the locals were probably shocked since there hasn’t been this many people gathered like this before. Lee Seunggi’s popularity could be confirmed at the site. (this ajusshi smiling like a proud dad as Seunggi’s discharge photos are shown as he speaks^^)

Host: There was a lot of talk before that the brigade at which Lee Seunggi was serving was an airborne group, but I too, am just learning that this is a ‘Decapitation Unit’ which seeks to kill and/or capture Kim Jong Eun. Is this true, Representative Shin (representing the Korea Defense Network)? What is the name of this brigade?

KDNrep: Black Panther brigade.

Host: Was it always a ‘Decapitation Unit’?

KDNrep: Not originally. Not when Lee Seunggi was enlisting for the army. But after he enlisted, with increasing tensions with North Korea, they decided to establish a ‘Decapitation Unit’ last year. So this came about while he was serving in the military. Lee Seunggi was assigned as a soldier in the administrative division.

Host: So it’s a ‘Decapitation Unit’ and they need soldiers in the administrative division for this.

KDNrep: Correct. So what did this entail for Lee Seunggi? What is this, exactly? And there are some who might say if he’s a soldier in the administrative division then he must have had it easy. But that’s not the case. Since it changed from a regular brigade/unit to a ‘Decapitation Unit,’ there’s a myriad of things that needs to prepared from the central military office, such as routes and logistics related to North Korea. So the administrative soldiers need to research and prepare all this. And the thing that worries me a bit is that the mission to target Kim Jong Eun could reside in Lee Seunggi’s head.

Host: So since the administrative solders are the ones preparing all the logistics for the ‘Decapitation Unit’…

KDNrep: Like preparing all the plans, documents, details… so after the brigade was established as ‘Decapitation Unit,’ most likely he was staying up late during his army-service working on this or involved in night duty. It’s pretty impressive, this is the type of person who served ‘hard’ in this way.

Host: Since this is a TV broadcast, we probably shouldn’t use a term like [빡세다 = informal expression indicating that things were super hard].

KDNrep: I apologize. (as he smiles… omg these policy wonk suits are kinda cracking me up ㅋㅋㅋ)

Host: It’s probable that Lee Seunggi worked hard into the night. So even we call them soldiers in the administrative division, however this is the airborne brigade, right? And on top of that, a brigade that has changed into the ‘Decapitation Unit.’ So did Lee Seunggi participate in all the training that Airborne Brigade soldiers do?

KDNrep: So for today, I have labeled Lee Seunggi’s photo. I selected this photo. (wow okay. omg their seriousness in discussing this is really impressive but also kind of weird. My parents and I are avid politics/policy geeks so to see Seunggi’s military service being talked about so seriously like this is kinda surreal^^)

[Model Special Forces Warrior Lee Seunggi]

Host: You could call these patches, affixed to his chest? And there are meanings to these patches?

KDNrep: Seeing these patches, I thought wow, this person is really impressive.

Host: First off the airborne mark. What is this?

KDNrep: Signifies that he completed parachuting from an airplane.

Host: That he jumped from the airplane?

KDNrep: Yes, soldiers serving in the administrative division are not required to do this. But he chose to do the training. That’s a 3km-4km distance. So you’re airborne for about 40 seconds. According to others who were there during the training, Lee Seunggi had severe acrophobia (fear of heights) but he conquered that by choosing to do this airborne training and Lee Seunggi bravely jumped. Since Lee Seunggi did this, don’t you think photographers from the central military office were probably there to capture this? And he was said to have flashed a ‘V’ sign while parachuting. I heard he did a great job.

Host: But are you all talking too favorably about Lee Seunggi today? (as he himself smilesㅋㅋㅋ)

AttorneyPJH: Favorable is right because the airborne brigade is a place where there are different requirements, for let’s say commanding officers. The enlisted soldiers are not necessarily required to do certain trainings. For me, I haven’t often seen enlisted soldiers receive airborne training.

Host: Our Attorney Park Ji Hoon is a former officer.

AttorneyPJH: I served in Soryong. And among my comrades who received Special Forces training, that airborne patch was a mark of pride as you can only get that if you complete the training. It’s to the extent that if someone who didn’t complete the training were to wear that patch, they’d be in a big trouble. So it’s a big deal for an enlisted soldier to be wearing that patch.

Host: There’s also a skull and bones mark on his arm. What does this mean?

KDNrep: This is related to Special Forces martial arts training. There used to be a separate Special Forces martial arts training, but now there’s a martial arts called Krav Maga. A type of martial arts emphasizing adept use of your hands. That patch means that he’s achieved Level 1 Krav Maga. So what does that mean? When I asked, I was told it signifies that you are able to kill someone with your bare hands. (omg Seunggi!)

Host: So Lee Seunggi completed all that military training without fail. Then what are these patches… Special Forces Combat Soldier. Special Class Warrior. What do these 2 patches mean?

KDNrep: Special Forces Combat Soldier patch is given to soldiers who have successfully completed airborne training AND the Long Distance March. Again, this isn’t required of enlisted soldiers but he chose to do the training. (ok this pattern is so Lee Seunggi^^) And I’ve been told that soldiers in the administrative division may go about 100km and not finish. But this guy, he was determined to finish to the end. So 400km outside in the late night. Think about it… carrying 30kg of military equipment and I spoke to someone who was with them and with 100km remaining, their feet were completely swollen and blistered.

KDNrep: It appears that Lee Seunggi really completed in his army service in a proper way. And during his military service, with this Black Panther brigade transforming into a Kim Jong Eun ‘Decapitation Unit,’ he received all the same training as the others (includes those not required of enlisted soldiers). Actually, seems Lee Seunggi’s stamina/athletic training was strong too, coming in at 2nd or 3rd overall. (mind you, at 30 years 0ld, he’s like 10 years older than all the other enlisted soldiers!)

Host: Special Class Warrior. So to become this wow, you have to demonstrate serious stamina/strength.

KDNrep: I mean check out those bulleted benchmark. These are really impressive targets.

[What does it take to become a Special Class Warrior?]
(note: 3rd bullet should say 3kim; it incorrectly indicates 8km)

Host: For example, Shooting: Hitting the target within 18-20 feet. So this too, Lee Seunggi did this?

KDNrep: Well for reserve soldiers, they could say this is something anyone can do. But when you’re talking about shooting from 100, 150, 200 meters… they call it distance target practice. These targets pop up randomly, so to have accomplished this within that context, probably something about 2 out of every 100 persons can accomplish, having shown also that skill is impressive. Also, you were talking about his stamina earlier on, I was told that within his brigade, he completed 10km marathons and there were several hundred enlisted soldiers with him, and he always came in 2nd or 3rd place. Lee Seunggi is what, 30 years old now, so he’s about 10 years older than his peers. You can only see this as really impressive stamina.

Host: I see. Even the Brigade Commander where Lee Seunggi was serving had this compliment to say about him, “Rather than a simply rich entertainer, I hope he carries forth his excellent demeanor and continues on to become an influential star.” So, Lee Seunggi completed his military service at the ‘Decapitation Unit’ targeting Kim Jong Eun and was discharged upon completing all the training with his comrades. As this is bright news and we wanted to heartwarmingly commend this, we examined this together prior to the frontline news. Representative Shin, you did a lot of work to research and prepare for this news today. Thank you everyone.

I just don’t know what else to say or feel about Lee Seunggi anymoreㅠㅠㅠ

He really never ceases to amaze me, nor disappoint me…

And that’s since I became a fan in 2009!

As most people know, Koreans take military service very seriously. As a point of national pride, and because men are required to give up a lot for close to 2 years. So, on top of that, for luxe-living celebs to take on active duty military service for 2 years and live in barracks and sleep side by side with other enlisted soldiers… the general public has respect for that.

But, to strive even harder and take on additional training and experiences like Lee Seunggi did, there’s just mad respect. And that’s on top of the upstanding model image Seunggi had prior to his military service.

Wow I can only imagine how many more stories, happenings, challenges and accomplishments our Seunggi experienced during his 1 year and 9 months of military service…. that we have yet to know. Hope we’ll get to hear more about this in time, from Seunggi himself^^

One Response

  1. A thousand applause for this unbelievable honorable man ive ever known #LeeSeungGi. So much effort for himself that gain so much appreciation from his fans. He is incredibly an awesome celeb guy turned into a great respectable Korea man ever. Thank you so much for giving us hope to conquer each of our countrys peace.

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