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Friday, April 19, 2024

Steve Yoo speaks out on 22 years apart from Korea

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Singer Steve Yoo [SCREEN CAPTURE]
Singer Steve Yoo [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Singer Steve Yoo said Tuesday that he “hasn’t heard anything” since the Supreme Court ruled in his favor following his visa application into the country four months ago.

Yoo posted on his Instagram that the “farewell [from his country] has taken 22 years” and that “it’s unforeseeable” as to when he can visit Korea again.

“It’s been 27 years and I’ve barely met my friends for five of them,” he wrote. “Half that time I was in the United States, so technically that means that I was a singer for two years and six months.”

He continued, saying that he has “no regrets and no resentment” and that he has “lived life to his fullest for 22 years.”

Yoo debuted in 1997 and left to the United States in 2002, renouncing his Korean citizenship. He became a U.S. citizen to evade his mandatory military service in Korea. Since then the Ministry of Justice has been restricting his entry back into the country.

In 2015, he applied for a visa as an overseas Korean, but the Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles rejected his request. Yoo subsequently won a lawsuit against the consulate general the same year, but his visa still never made it through.

Yoo filed another lawsuit seeking the revocation of the consulate general, to which the Seoul High Court ruled in favor of Yoo last November, saying that the consulate general has no reason to reject Yoo’s visa application.

According to the ruling, if Yoo applies for another visa, the government must review it again. However, even if the L.A. consulate general issues it, Yoo will still be unable to enter Korea if the Justice Ministry bans him.

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [shin.minhee@joongang.co.kr]