Yoo Seung Jun, a formerly popular Korean singer who was widely condemned after he obtained American citizenship to avoid compulsory military service, filed a lawsuit last year against the Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles.
The Seoul Administrative Court met on September 30 to judge the case. Yoo Seung Jun had sued the embassy over denying him an entry visa to Korea. In his lawsuit, he claimed that he had obtained his American citizenship for economic reasons unrelated to his service.
In the court’s final statement, they said, “We have judged that the plaintiff obtained American citizenship in order to avoid his military service. The plaintiff had enjoyed great popularity and huge influence over Korean youth, but despite saying many times that he would not avoid his duty, he went back on his word. If he is permitted to re-enter Korea and resume his entertainment activities, it may lower the morale of the men and women who are currently sacrificing much in the armed forces, as well as have a bad effect on youth.”
They concluded, “Maintaining the law and social order is more important than personal interests.”
In 2002, Yoo Seung Jun left Korea three months before he was scheduled to begin his military service to perform at a concert in Japan. The Military Manpower Association had given him permission for the concert despite his approaching service, but after the concert ended, Yoo Seung Jun flew to the United States to obtain citizenship there. The MMA judged that he had avoided his duties and banned him from re-entering the country.