Korean-American Singer Stays Barred Over Draft Dodging

  • By Yang Eun-kyoung

    February 24, 2017 11:05

    Yoo Seung-jun

    The Seoul High Court on Thursday upheld an order banning Korean-American singer Yoo Seung-jun from Korea because he took U.S. citizenship to dodge compulsory military service here.

    Yoo, who was popular in the late 1990s, repeatedly promised to fulfill his military duty here but in January 2002 took U.S. citizenship and forfeited his Korean passport. In February the same year, the Justice Ministry banned him from entering Korea, but now he wants to come back.

    Yoo has been working as an actor in China since then. In May 2015, he made a tearful plea in an Internet broadcast to be allowed to return to Korea and pledged to fulfill his military service if possible and regain his Korean citizenship. But then he was caught swearing after he thought the camera had been turned off.

    He filed a lawsuit against the Korean government after a visa request was rejected in September 2015. Last October, the Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of the government saying that allowing Yoo to enter Korea could damage "public morals."

    All able-bodied Korean men are required to serve in the military for around two years and attempts to avoid conscription are strongly frowned on.

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