Yang Hyun Suk Explains Reason For YG’s In-House Drug Testing
Yang Hyun Suk spoke to JTBC’s “Spotlight” about the reason for YG Entertainment’s periodic drug tests of its artists.
The June 20 episode of “Spotlight” focused on the current case of B.I’s alleged drug use and the accusations that YG Entertainment was involved in a cover up of the incident.
Informant “A” told the “Spotlight” producers, “B.I bought 1.3 million won (approximately $1,120) of LSD from me.” They also recounted the story previously told that they had been contacted by WINNER’s Lee Seung Hoon, who asked if they’d smoked marijuana with B.I and then arranged to meet with them. When “A” arrived at the location, they were met by someone referred to as K, whom they described as “a staff member who takes care of YG’s issues that could end up in the society news page.”
“A” said that K always carried a drug kit with them and claimed that it could detect any type of drug. They stated that K had said, “It’s because we have to know in order to get rid of it.”
Yang Hyun Suk spoke directly to the producers of “Spotlight” about this controversy. He said, “I haven’t responded to the press throughout the past 23 years. However, I think that I should correct the things that I can correct as best I can through an explanation.”
Regarding the drug tests at the agency, Yang Hyun Suk said, “I directly take the lead on drug tests and monitor them.” He added that the urine test kits are available to be bought by individuals in the United States, where it is commonly done. “I asked many people including investigation authorities, and they told me that it is not illegal,” he added. The routine tests are conducted once every two months.
Yang Hyun Suk also showed the production team a drug kit, which is capable of testing for 12 kinds of drugs at once. He stated, “They do not sell this drug kit domestically. If the test the prosecution used were to be 10,000 won (approximately $8), this one would be 50,000 won (approximately $43).”
On why YG artists receive periodic tests for drugs, Yang Hyun Suk stated that it was a preventative measure. He added, “There was a sense of responsibility after the G-Dragon case that this had happened because of poor management on the part of YG, so we have been testing.”
A source from a company that sells drug test kits stated, “We mainly supply hospitals and investigative agencies. I believe that there wouldn’t be an issue with an ordinary citizen purchasing one as they were reclassified as medical devices two years ago, but we don’t sell them.”
“Spotlight” asked why a drug test kit that tests for 12 types of drugs is necessary, considering it’s double the number of the six drugs that are most commonly abused in Korea. Yang Hyun Suk again stated that it was a preventative measure, and he added that it would scare the artists into not using any kind of drug.
Professor Oh Yoon Sung told “Spotlight,” “Determining whether someone has used a drug or not through a drug test isn’t a preventative measure. This is a measure taken after the fact. It appears as though they are acknowledging the possibility that their members could take drugs.”
Yang Hyun Suk also stated that there is a staff member in charge of drug tests, who “Spotlight” states is the person referred to as K who met with the informant.
Yang Hyun Suk denied the suspicions that B.I used drugs and stated that his drug kit test had come out negative. “Spotlight” reports that when they asked an expert about the reliability of drug test kits, they stated that it can be very difficult for the devices to detect accurately in cases such as when the user only took a small amount of the drug.
Yang Hyun Suk stepped down from YG Entertainment on June 14.