Yoo Seung-jun, who once graced the biggest stage in South Korea as one of its most widely beloved artists, has appealed the government’s decision from 14 years ago to ban him from entering the country.
The South Korean government has already dismissed Yoo’s previous request to earn the rights to visit his motherland, but the 39-year-old has now decided to appeal its decision, which came in 2002 when he allegedly dodged the country’s compulsory military service by suddenly—and controversially—obtaining a U.S. citizenship.
“To allow Yoo to enter South Korea after he had obtained a U.S. citizenship just so that he could prolong his career as a celebrity would be to recognize a way for the younger generation to purposely avoid the country’s military service,” said the South Korean court in its initial dismissal last month.
However, Yoo is suggesting that the South Korean court is treating him unfairly, as he is the only person among 17,229 current non-South Korean nationals who forfeited their nationality for another country before serving their military duty.
Yoo obtained his U.S. citizenship in 2002 after emphasizing numerous times through South Korean media that he intends to serve in the military. He then pleaded his innocence by saying that he had already applied for the U.S. citizenship years before.
Since then, South Korea has placed a permanent ban on Yoo from entering the country. The ban is still valid after 14 years.