It has been nearly twenty years since the entry ban on Yoo Seung Joon (Steve Yoo) has been placed back in 2002.
Last year, the Korean-American singer began a second legal battle to find a way back into South Korea, which is his birth country.
Yoo Seung Joon has been imposed an entry ban in 2002 when he obtained his U.S. citizenship after promising to serve in the mandatory national military duty. The authorities and the public saw his action on obtaining U.S. citizenship as an attempt to avoid mandatory military service.
Since then, Yoo Seung Joon had continuously appealed to the Korean government to lift the entry ban but to no avail. Many Korean netizens have been in discussion over the matter as some believed the Korean government was being too strict and harsh on this issue. Yoo Seung Joon even claimed that the Korean government was being discriminatory and had continued to plea asking to be let back into his home country.
Recently, the explanation of the reason why Yoo Seung Joon is not allowed back into South Korea is gaining attention once again. Mo Jong Hwa, the commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration, explained clearly the reasons why the entry ban against Yoo Seung Joon should not be lifted.
The commissioner explained, "I believe the citizens are confused because Steve Yoo is misleading the public opinion to his advantage. I did not feel the necessity to counterargue each of his claims. However, I want to share a few facts to clarify."
Commissioner Mo Jong Hwa continued to explain, "There are approximately 3,000 to 4,000 citizens who change nationalities or evade enlistment every year. 95% of these individuals are those who live overseas and have not received the physical examination."
The commissioner stated, "Steve Yoo had been active in South Korea earning a profit. He is the only person who obtained U.S. citizenship after completing his physical examination and received the notice of enlistment."
Commissioner Mo elaborated, "Therefore, he is the only person who cunningly evaded enlistment, which is a different level than the 3,000 to 4,000 individuals. Steve Yoo is continuing to argue about fairness in this situation, but that does not apply to these facts."
In addition, commissioner Mo stated that there is evidence that Steve Yoo had intentionally evaded the enlistment and provided the permission to travel form submitted by the singer back in 2002. In the form, Yoo Seung Joon explained that he was to travel overseas to perform.
Commissioner Mo Jong Hwa explained, "Steve Yoo wrote that he will be traveling to Japan and the U.S. to perform and even wrote the date and time when he will be visiting Japan. However, he did not keep his promise and obtained U.S. citizenship during this time. So he has clearly evaded enlistment."
The commissioner added, "The reason we were not able to punish Steve Yoo for his actions is that he does not have citizenship to our country. Therefore, we were not able to punish him."
This explanation provided by the commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration was shared in various online communities, where netizens left comments on the issue. Korean netizens commented, "Wow, I didn't know Yoo Seung Joon said he was going overseas to perform but then got U.S. citizenship," "Steve Yoo is worse than I thought," "Yoo Seung Joon will never be allowed back into South Korea I guess," "The commissioner must have been so frustrated when people were saying the administration was being unfair since he knew all the facts," and "Now, I can clearly understand why the Korean government doesn't allow him back."