Yoo Seung-joon Apologizes For Avoiding the Military Service While Crying
Regret always comes last. It seems that this is what was felt by singer Yoo Seung-joon a.k.a Steve Yoo. Because of his decisions in the past, he is now unable to return to South Korea after being permanently deported on the grounds of desertion.
Yoo Seung-joon said that he was sorry for his lack of action when he got a call for enlisting the military. At that time he preferred doing a concert in Japan and flying to America for an interview for becoming Uncle Sam’s citizen.
Thirteen years have passed, and for the first time, he ventured to discuss this via Afreeca TV. The actor that starred in Man of Taichi apologized while kneeling on the floor. Yoo Seung-joon apologized while lamenting,
“I don’t know what to say, everything is empty. I apologize to all Koreans,” he said. “If I can go back to the past, I will fulfill my compulsory military service. I didn’t expect it to be very big. I didn’t think twice before.”
Now, Yoo Seung-joon won’t refuse to enter the military again. However, he is already 39 years old. In fact, the maximum limit for Korean men to enter the army is 38 years.
“Last July I wanted to register for the army after giving up the American citizenship. But I was 38 years old. Jackie Chan and another friend said that was the only way for me to go back,” he added, crying. “But it turned out that the army was recruiting only those born in the 80s and I was born in 1976.”
Nevertheless, he also refused to be called a liar and talked about his decision to leave Korea. “It was very difficult to enter the U.S. and become an American citizen. Especially, after the 9/11 incident,” he recalled. “At that time I got an interview call and my father said that it would be very selfish not to go.”
Yoo Seung-joon Continues To Beg To Be Allowed To Enter South Korea Again
The fourth meeting between Yoo Seung-joon and the Los Angeles consulate was held on August 12th. Yoo Seung-joon is a South Korean celebrity who avoided his obligation to enter the military service by obtaining American citizenship which ultimately resulted in him no longer being allowed to visit South Korea. However, now he is trying to change that and wants to be able to return to South Korea.
At the meeting, as reported by Allkpop, Yoo Seung-joon’s side said, “He has no intention of accepting the status of an American citizen to avoid his obligation to do military service. He did the process of obtaining his citizenship status not because of that.” Meanwhile, the Los Angeles consulate said, “He tried to get his citizenship status to coincide before he undertook military service. The statement saying that he did it not to avoid conscription was very unreasonable.” Yoo Seung-joon’s side then stated, “As expected, he regretted what he did at the time. He feels guilty for disappointing Korean people. This lawsuit is not about citizenship but it controls him who wants to be allowed to return to Korea.”
Regarding the suspicious and tax negative comments aimed at his appearance on Afreeca TV, to express his apologies earlier, Yoo Seung-joon’s side stated, “We are very sorry Yoo Seung-joon gets criticized for rumors that have no truth at all.” The Los Angeles consulate said, “We are curious about your statement saying you have the right to avoid compulsory military service no matter what happens. You can certainly express your opinion through Korean ambassadors in America without the need to go to South Korea. We also question whether it is appropriate for you to conduct an interview with the media from Korea.” The final decision of the lawsuit would be revealed on September 30th.
Session Results Announced, Yoo Seung-joon Banned From South Korea
Yoo Seung-joon’s struggle to return to being a South Korean citizen seems to be over. All the efforts he had taken so far eventually turned out to be in vain because the results of the last trial decided that Yoo Seung-joon is still barred from entering South Korea.
Previously, Yoo Seung-joon fought against the Consulate of Los Angeles, America, requesting a Visa to be able to enter in South Korea. Yoo Seung-joon was banned from entering South Korea for deliberately missing out on compulsory military duty by registering as an American citizen.
“He tried to get this citizenship before military registration. Claims that the aim was not to avoid military service really made no sense,” the consulate representative of the L.A said before the trial.
On Friday, September 30th, 2016, the Seoul Administrative Court decided to ban Yoo Seung-joon from entering South Korea. The court stated that they could not let Yoo Seung-joon enter because if they did, it would reduce the morale of the soldiers currently on military duty while setting a precedent for teenagers so that South Korean men would not avoid military duty.
With that decision, Yoo Seung-joon expressed objections and will appeal. “He was very disappointed with the decision made by the Administrative Judge today. He realized his decision was wrong, but by not allowing him to enter his own country for more than 14 years, the country of his own birth was truly unfair. He would consult with his family and discuss what steps will be chosen, and will make decisions,” explained Yoo Seung-joon’s lawyer.