Singer Yoo Seung Jun, who has been deported and banned from entering Korea for military evasion, recently made a public apology for his past actions.
Yoo Seung Jun spoke about the issue for the first time in 13 years on May 19 on the Internet broadcast Afreeca TV.
When asked about his intentions, Yoo Seung Jun bowed and said, “I don’t know what I should first say and my head is blank. Firstly, I think I need to apologize to the citizens.”
He then revealed that he regretted his actions, saying, “If I could go back, I would have gone to the military. I didn’t realize it would be such a big issue. If I could go back in time, I would go without even a second thought.”
When a netizen pointed out, “It’s interesting timing that you’re saying this when you’re 39, since you can serve in the military up until you’re 38.” To this, he replied, “Last July, I said I said I wanted to enlist after giving up my American citizenship. I was 38, and Jackie Chan and others around me said, ‘I think that’s the only way’ and told me that it was the right decision. So I told my family that I would be enlisting.” He then continued, “So I thought I would be enlisting, but two days later, they asked for my birth day and year. I was born in 1976 but it turns out that being able to go to the military until you’re 38 applies only to those born in the 80s.”
He also said while tearing up, “I would like to be able to step on Korean soil no matter what it takes. I would like to be able to step on Korean soil honorably. Before, they used to say, ‘the beautiful young man’ Yoo Seung Jun. I wasn’t beautiful but I tried hard to become beautiful, and because of my thrashing to try to have positive influence, the elders liked me.”
The singer, who had gone to Japan for a concert ahead of his 2002 January enlistment date then straight to America to obtain his American citizenship without re-entering Korea, said, “There is talk that I’m a liar, but I didn’t lie after plans to get American citizenship. I said I would enlist because I was going to. The oath to citizenship came to me around October of 2001.” He then said, “I was going to go to the military and I didn’t attend my citizenship interview. However, after 9/11, it became difficult to re-obtain American citizenship. The interview date came out around the time I went to Japan for the concert, and my father convinced me to come.”
He then said that all of his family is in America and emphasized that he did not go to America to evade enlistment. He said, “There were no other celebrities in my management company so if I didn’t work, the management company would have gone bankrupt. My father said that it could even be selfish if I enlisted.” He then said, “Getting American citizenship happened because my parents convincement and because of contract issues. However, I still cannot blame them.”
Meanwhile, Yoo Seung Jun enjoyed great popularity at the beginning of 2000s and after promising to enlist even after his herniated disk surgery in 2001, earned the love of Korea. However, after obtaining American citizenship just three months before his enlistment date, he was banned from entering the country.