Despite not winning a medal until now, the achievement was seen of such significance that players managed to avoid the service, including former Manchester United midfielder Ji-Sung Park and former Spurs left back Young-Pyo Lee.
Former Arsenal forward Park Chu-young, earned a 10-year-delay on his military service by obtaining a Monaco residency - however, rules have since tightened up, according to the BBC.
Newcastle's South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng only had to complete four weeks of military service after winning a bronze medal at London 2012 - a side Son was blocked from joining up with by his then-club, Bayer Leverkusen.
Fans of Son and his South Korean teammates organised an online petition to have them exempted from completing military service after their 2018 World Cup campaign, which included a 2-0 win against then-reigning champions Germany.
The relationship between football and the military has also extended to sharing training methods over recent months.