On July 11, South Korean Supreme court judges gathered to attend the 3rd official trial involving Korean-American singer Yoo Seung Joon (43) and his lawsuit over the denial of a Korean travel visa for the past 17 years.
Previously, in the Supreme court's 1st and 2nd trials, judges turned down Yoo Seung Joon's request to obtain a Korean travel visa on the basis that, "If Yoo Seung Joon returns to Korea and begins broadcast promotions again, it degrades the efforts of our nation's soldiers who sacrifice themselves in order to serve in the military, and it also opens opportunities to shed positive light to the act of dodging one's mandatory military service duties."
However, on this day, approximately 17 years after Yoo Seung Joon obtained American citizenship in 2002 in order to dodge his mandatory military service, the Supreme court overturned their first and second trial decisions. The court relayed, "Denying the request of a travel visa is an act of exercising government judgment, and the defendant's (The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea located in Los Angeles, California) decision to deny the visa is a violation of the law and the misuse of the consulate's judgment capabilities."
As a result, the Supreme court has chosen to return Yoo Seung Joon's case against the Consulate General of Korea to Seoul's city court for a re-trial. This means that through the re-trial process, Yoo Seung Joon may finally be able to obtain a Korean travel visa, earning legal permission to enter the country.
Meanwhile, Yoo Seung Joon debuted as a 1st-generation pop star in 1997. In 2002, just ahead of his mandatory military enlistment, he was approved American citizenship, garnering public disapproval for dodging his mandatory service. Then, in 2015, Yoo Seung Joon filed for a Korean travel visa through the Consulate General of Korea in Los Angeles, hoping to visit his home country again. The Consulate General denied his request, and Yoo Seung Joon ultimately became involved in a legal dispute with the Consulate General from 2016 until now.