“Burning Sun Gate”: A Timeline Of Crime, Corruption, And Controversies

On January 28, footage was revealed of a man being assaulted by guards at the club Burning Sun, which Seungri was known as an executive director of. What most people did not see coming at the time was the shocking unveiling of numerous criminal activities that have been taking place for years and involving many individuals including top celebrities, powerful figures, the police, and more. Some of the suspected crimes include prostitution mediation, filming and circulation of illegal hidden camera footage, drug usage, bribing the police, gambling, and tax evasion.

This outbreak of events has become known as “Burning Sun Gate,” and almost 100 days have now passed since its beginning.

Key Players

Here are some of the key figures who have played a large part in this series of incidents:


– Under investigation for suspicions of prostitution mediation, bribery, sharing illegally taken footage, and embezzlement
– Resigned as executive director of Burning Sun
– Left BIGBANG and announced retirement from entertainment industry on March 11

Yoo In Suk

– Seungri’s business partner who worked with him on several businesses including Burning Sun
– Husband of actress Park Han Byul
– Revealed as influential figure in chatroom
– Acquainted with police officer “Yoon”
– Lost position as CEO of Yuri Holdings on March 15

Jung Joon Young

– Booked on charges of filming and spreading illegal hidden camera footage
– Announced retirement from entertainment industry on March 13

Yong Junhyung

– Not a member of group chatroom
– Received illegal hidden camera footage sent to him by Jung Joon Young and participated in inappropriate conversations
– Left Highlight on March 14

Choi Jong Hoon

– Filmed and shared illegal hidden camera footage
– Under suspicion of using connections to cover up drunk driving incident from 2016
– Left FTISLAND and announced retirement from entertainment industry on March 14

CNBLUE’s Lee Jong Hyun

– Left group chatroom several years ago
– Watched illegal hidden camera footage sent to him by Jung Joon Young and participated in inappropriate conversations

Roy Kim

– Admits to sharing illegally taken photos downloaded from the Internet

Eddy Kim

– Admits to sharing illegally taken photos downloaded from the Internet

Mr. Kim

– Former employee of Burning Sun
– Set up hidden cameras for filming illegal footage

Lee Moon Ho 

– CEO of Burning Sun
– Status changed to suspect after testing positive in drug test
– Defended himself and Seungri from controversies

Senior Superintendent Police Officer “Yoon”

– Acquainted with Yoo In Suk
– Booked for suspicion of covering up criminal activities of members in chatroom

SBS funE Reporter Kang Kyung Yoon

– Reporter who released the first reports suggesting Seungri taking part in prostitution mediation and about his participation in a chatroom with other celebrities sharing illegal hidden camera footage

Lawyer Bang Jung Hyun 

– Lawyer who sent the KakaoTalk conversation data to the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission on behalf of the original whistleblower

Timeline of Key Events

Here is a breakdown of some of the major incidents that have occurred:

January 28

– MBC’s “News Desk” reveals CCTV footage of a man, Kim Sang Kyo, being assaulted by security guards at Burning Sun. Later in the week, Yang Hyun Suk and Seungri apologize for the controversy but deny Seungri’s involvement in the incident.

February 26

– SBS funE shares messages exchanged between Seungri, “C” (later revealed to be Choi Jong Hoon), Yoo In Suk, and Burning Sun employee “Kim.” The messages suggest that Seungri lobbied to investors and offered sexual favors as bribes.

– YG and Yuri Holdings both comment that the reports are not true and that the messages are fabricated, and the police launch an investigation regarding the reports.

February 28

– Seungri completes his first round of police questioning from February 27 through 28.

– YG Entertainment announces that Seungri will cancel all upcoming scheduled activities.

March 4

– SBS funE reveals that the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission procured the original copy of the messages. The person who reported the messages did not send them to the police as there are suspicions of connections with the police.

March 8

– YG Entertainment confirms that Seungri will be enlisting as an active duty soldier on March 25.

– MBC shares evidence that Seungri played a large role in the formation of Burning Sun.

March 10

– Seungri is booked on charges of violating the law on the punishment of prostitution mediation and other related actions.

March 11

– SBS funE reports that Seungri and two other male celebrities shared illegal hidden camera footage in a chatroom.

– Seungri announces his retirement from the entertainment industry.

– Jung Joon Young is reported as one of the celebrities who shared illegal hidden camera footage.

– Yong Junhyung’s agency Around Us Entertainment denies his involvement in the chatroom. Yong Junhyung personally denies the reports the next day.

March 12

– “2 Days & 1 Night,” “Salty Tour,” and “4 Wheeled Restaurant” confirm Jung Joon Young’s removal from the programs. His performance at “Beautiful Mint Life 2019” is also canceled.

– The original reporter of the chatroom, Kang Kyung Yoon, denies Lee Hong Ki’s involvement.

– Kang Kyung Yoon, as well as Dispatch, deny rumors of various female celebrities being victims of the hidden camera footage. Agencies of female celebrities who were mentioned in the false rumors announce that strong legal action will be taken.

– Jung Joon Young is booked on charges of spreading illegal hidden camera footage.

– SBS reports more content from the chatroom with Jung Joon Young including discussion of criminal acts.

– FNC Entertainment denies Lee Jong Hyun and Choi Jong Hoon being involved in the group chatrooms.

March 13

– Jung Joon Young admits to his crimes in a letter of apology.

– MAKEUS Entertainment terminates Jung Joon Young’s exclusive contract.

– YG Entertainment terminates Seungri’s exclusive contract.

– Lawyer Bang Jung Hyun, who sent the KakaoTalk conversation data to the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission on behalf of the original whistleblower, reveals possible ties that the chatroom members had with the police. The Commissioner General of the Korean National Police Agency confirms contents of the message that suggest connections.

– SBS funE and SBS’s 8 O’Clock News report additional instances of the chatroom members having connections with the police.

– Choi Jong Hoon admits to a drunk driving incident from 2016 but denies using a connection with the police to cover it up as reported previously. SBS shares messages exchanged between Choi Jong Hoon, Seungri, and more which suggest that connections were used to cover up the incident.

March 14

– Yong Junhyung announces his departure from Highlight and explains his messages with Jung Joon Young.

– FNC Entertainment announces Choi Jong Hoon’s departure from FTISLAND and retirement from the entertainment industry. He also personally addresses the controversies in a letter of apology.

– New reports reveal messages showing evidence of Seungri engaging in habitual gambling abroad and providing sexual escort services to his business partner.

– SBS unveils explicit one-on-one conversations exchanged between Jung Joon Young and Lee Jong Hyun. The next day, FNC Entertainment releases an official statement of apology on behalf of Lee Jong Hyun regarding the conversations.

March 15

– Jung Joon Young completes his first round of police questioning, while Seungri completes his second. Yoo In Suk also receives questioning from the police.

– Yoo In Suk resigns from his position as CEO of Yuri Holdings. SBS reports on his influential role in the chatroom.

– “2 Days & 1 Night” announces an indefinite hiatus following Jung Joon Young’s removal.

March 16

– Senior Superintendent “Yoon,” who was identified as a suspect of having ties to members of the chatroom, admits being acquainted to Yoo In Suk. “Yoon” is booked by the police two days later.

– FNC Entertainment denies rumors of Lee Jong Hyun sexually harassing and sexually assaulting women in the past and announces that legal action will be taken.

March 17

– Choi Jong Hoon completes police questioning for allegedly spreading illegally taken photos and videos.

– Lee Moon Ho defends himself and Seungri from controversies.

– Though not directly related to this case, Cha Tae Hyun and Kim Joon Ho step down from all shows after news of them participating betting large sums of money while playing golf gets revealed while investigating Jung Joon Young’s phone.

March 18

– Jung Joon Young completes his second round of police questioning, and the police announce that an arrest warrant will be requested for him.

– Seungri submits official request to postpone his military enlistment.

– President Moon Jae In orders thorough investigations of controversies.

– SBS releases phone interview with Choi Jong Hoon from March 2 when he talked about his ties to Senior Superintendent “Yoon.”

March 19

– Request is submitted to court to issue arrest warrants for Jung Joon Young, Mr. Kim, and Mr. Jang, Burning Sun’s director from the initial assault case.

– Media outlet Sisa Journal releases an exclusive report of Seungri’s interview where he denies allegations of providing prostitution services and traveling overseas to gamble.

– The police receive a testimony about Seungri’s alleged drug use from a source at Burning Sun.

– Seungri is reported to have known about a minor entering Burning Sun, and further chatroom logs show a conversation about potentially bribing the police in regards to the illegal business practices of Seungri’s club Monkey Museum.

– Yoo In Suk issues a statement denying allegations that he received tips from “Yoon” about a police crackdown on Monkey Museum, and claims that the reported KakaoTalk conversations were jokes or false.

March 20

– Seungri’s military enlistment is officially postponed.

– SBS’s “8 O’Clock News” questions the validity of former Yuri Holdings CEO Yoo In Suk’s written apology after revealing past interview with the former CEO.

March 21

– Jung Joon Young stands in front of press before his interrogation at court and admits to all charges.

– Choi Jong Hoon is booked for trying to bribe a police officer to cover up a drunk driving incident in 2016.

– Seungri’s lawyer denies all allegations made against the singer in a new interview.

– Jung Joon Young is arrested.

– Seungri admits prior knowledge of Monkey Museum’s illegal operations.

March 23

– Jung Joon Young is reported to have wiped data before submitting one of his three phones.

– Seungri personally addresses various allegations in an interview.

March 24

– Ji Chang Wook’s agency denies rumors of the actor being linked to Burning Sun investor “Madame Lin” following a photo of them being used on SBS’s “Unanswered Questions.” SBS also clarifies that use of the photo was not suggesting his involvement.

March 28

– Jung Joon Young, Seungri, and Choi Jong Hoon are booked for additional charges of sharing illegally filmed videos and photos.

– Seungri admits to spreading illegally filmed footage but denies taking it.

– MBC reports that there are eight singers in group chatrooms with Jung Joon Young in which illegally filmed videos were shared, including “singer K” and “singer J.” Other members also include “model L.”

April 1

– The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency holds a press conference and reveals several new details. The police acquire a testimony about an instance when Seungri mediated prostitution and also book him and Yoo In Suk for embezzling funds of the club Monkey Museum. Senior Superintendent Yoon is booked for receiving bribes from Seungri. Choi Jong Hoon is also booked for filming a sex video without consent.

April 2

– Roy Kim is revealed to have been in a group chat with Jung Joon Young. He is set to be questioned for his participation.

April 4

– Roy Kim is booked on charges of spreading illegally taken photos.

– Eddy Kim is revealed to have been in a group chat together with Jung Joon Young, Seungri, Choi Jong Hoon, Roy Kim, Lee Jong Hyun, Kangin, Jeong Jinwoon, and Yong Junhyung. Mystic Entertainment confirms that Eddy Kim was in the chatroom and has already undergone questioning by the police, but denies that he was involved in the filming or spreading of any illegal footage.

April 5

– Seungri is questioned for suspicions of destroying evidence.

April 7

– Seungri is reportedly involved in the management of club Burning Sun.

April 8

– Seungri is accused of founding a shell corporation in Hong Kong.

April 11

– Roy Kim and Eddy Kim admit to sharing illegally taken photos, and Choi Jong Hoon admits to filming illegally taken footage.

– Seungri and Yoo In Suk are booked on suspicions of embezzling funds from Burning Sun.

April 14

– Police secure testimony that sexual activity occurred between a female escort and a man at Seungri’s birthday party in Palawan. The next day, police find records of Seungri paying female escorts who attended the party.

April 17

– Jung Joon Young is indicted with detention for the violation of the Special Act on Punishment of Sexual Crimes while Choi Jong Hoon, Roy Kim, and Eddy Kim are forward to the prosecution.

April 18

– A woman testifies that she was sexually assaulted by five members of the chatroom, including Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon. She stated that she found out about the assault after the group chatroom conversations were reported in the news, and she plans to file a lawsuit.

– KBS reports on conversations in the chatroom at the time of the alleged assault. Choi Jong Hoon denies that he engaged in sexual activity with her.

April 19

– A woman comes forward with testimony about alleged sexual assault by Mr. Kim at a gathering overseas attended by Seungri, Roy Kim, Yoo In Suk, and more.

– Arrest warrant with detention is issued for Burning Sun CEO Lee Moon Ho, who is suspected of drug use and dealing. The requested warrant for employee Anna is dismissed.

April 25

– 17 women are booked for prostitution in relation to suspicions of Seungri mediating for Japanese investors.

May 2

– Police confirm that prostitution services were received by men at the Christmas party held by Seungri in 2015.

May 8

– Police request pretrial detention warrants for Seungri and Yoo In Suk for mediation of prostitution and embezzlement.

– The prosecution files pretrial detention warrants for Choi Jong Hoon and two others on sexual assault charges.

May 14

– The court dismisses the pretrial detention warrant requests for Seungri and Yoo In Suk.

May 15

– The police officers involved in the initial Burning Sun assault case are cleared of charges. Kim Sang Kyo is forwarded to the prosecution for on charges of assault, interference with business, and sexual harassment.

This timeline will be updated continuously as the stories progress.

Top left and right photo credit: Xportsnews

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