January 3, 2014

Korean government denies it will lift entry ban 

on former K-pop star from Orange County named Yoo Seung-jun

By Lee Kyutae

The Korean government will not lift its entry ban on one of the original K-pop stars named Yoo Seung-jun. His entry to the country will still be denied, a government official said on Thursday.

It looks like Yoo will have to wait longer to enter South Korea. (Newsis)

Yoo may have to wait longer to enter South Korea. (Newsis)

One Korean media outlet reported on New Year’s Day that Yoo, now 37, is interested in re-entering South Korea to rekindle his singing career and that the entry ban on him will be lifted some time this month.

However, South Korea’s Military Manpower Administration (MMA) immediately clarified that isn’t so, and their response even sounded personal. One MMA official was even quoted as saying, “Yoo is someone who defied Korean military service law to gain American citizenship. He is not a candidate for reconsideration, and it shouldn’t be reconsidered.”

What’s being said on the Internet is much harsher and unprintable.

South Korea permanently banned Yoo from entering the country 12 years ago for allegedly dodging mandatory military service. He had sparked national outrage in Korea when he went back on his words – publicly and repeatedly stating that he intends to serve – to obtain American citizenship.

His family had immigrated to the United States when he was 13. They resided in Orange County’s Buena Park.

Korean men are legally relieved from military service obligations as they turn 40, and some believe that Yoo will be allowed back into the country at that point. However, for a person already on the banned list, that permission has to come from the Ministry of Justice.

Most people believe this is not a legal matter but an ethical one, or a matter of public opinion. One entertainment industry insider explained, “People feel more betrayed because he was such a big star.”

One Comment

  1. heej

    May 20, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    A new law was passed in the US in July 2014 stating that all US citizens earning money in excess of $10,000 overseas have to report their earnings for tax reasons. It is estimated that Steve Yoo has earned over $10 million while working with Jackie Chan in Asia and none of this has been reported in the US. This is why in July 2014, he pleaded privately with the Korean military to allow him to revoke his US citizenship and reclaim his Korean one to serve in the army. He claims that he is sorry for lying to the Korean public about his military duty and he wants to undo what he did 13 years ago but he is only doing this so that he doesn’t get caught for tax evasion.