Currently, the former Korean pop star is known to be one of the biggest disappointments in Korean entertainment history and is receiving harsh criticism from Koreans to this day. During the detailed interview via AfreecaTV, Yoo Seung Joon addressed his long overdue apology for his past decisions and spoke in detail about the controversy surrounding his military evasion.
In the beginning of the airing, Yoo Seung Joon introduces himself again for the first time in 13 years and says, "First, I should greet the people. Hello everyone, this is singer Yoo Seung Joon. The reason I am kneeling in front of you is I don't think that I would be able to fully articulate my feelings, so I wanted to show my apologies.
This won't be a place where I confess my feelings; I just wanted to apologize for my wrongdoings to everyone [watching]. Minister of Justice, Director of Military Affairs, Head of Immigration Management, and to those who are currently serving in the military, I came on here today because I wanted to apologize for causing a public disturbance and disappointing everyone."
When he was asked why he finally decided after 13 years to open up, Yoo Seung Joon answered, "I didn't have the courage. I wasn't ready, either. I came out after realizing that everything was my fault. Even until last year, my pride didn't allow me. I was the one who made the mistake, but I felt that I was the one who had been wronged."
The former Korean pop star then addressed the rumors that stated that the only reason Yoo Seung Joon is apologizing now is he is struggling financially. Yoo Seung Joon strongly objected and said, "Since I was 20 years old, I was the one who supported my family. And within the five years I've debuted in China, I've appeared in 14 movies and filmed in a 60-episode drama. If I say that I have a lot of money now.... It's definitely not because of money. Even today, I can't step inside Korea because my name is listed on the prohibition of entry list. From what I know, I am on the same list as political offenders and political prisoners like Osama Bin Laden."
Yoo Seung Joon continued, "I was healthy and I liked living in a group, so I had no bad feelings about the military, and my father had even said that I had to enlist. Even when I was young, I thought that going to the military was mandatory."
However, Yoo Seung Joon revealed during the interview that he was persuaded by his parents who were in America at the time and had felt conflicted because of his contract with his agency. He said, "At the time a large amount of money got passed around just with my signature. I was really arrogant. I was busy and lacking. I wasn't mature enough.
I didn't have plans to obtain American citizenship nor did I lie about it. My father was the one who had filed for citizenship. I refused until the end. At the time, I didn't go to the citizenship interview so that I could go to the military. And it was after the 9/11 attack, so it was when it was hard to reissue citizenship. At the time, I was going to Japan for a performance when the date for my interview came out and my father was the one who persuaded me to take it."
Throughout the interview, Yoo Seung Joon expressed that he would definitely enlist in the military if he could turn back time, and revealed that he even made an attempt to enlist in the Korean military last year, but couldn't because of his age. He is currently 39 years old in Korea and according to Korean law, men who are above the age of 38 cannot enlist.
Lastly, the singer stated that he would do anything, include giving up his American citizenship, to be able to confidently step back into Korea with his children.
You can check out the one-hour interview featuring Yoo Seung Joo on AfreecaTV above.