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Court rules in favor of singer banned from visiting S. Korea

All News 14:49 November 15, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- An appeals court on Friday reversed its earlier decision and ruled in favor of a Korean-American singer who was banned from entering South Korea in a move that may allow him to finally visit the country for the first time in 17 years.

Steve Yoo, better known as Yoo Seung-jun here, had been banned from entering the country since 2002, when he became the subject of public outcry after giving up his South Korean citizenship, which critics claimed was aimed at dodging military service.

This file photo shows Korean-American singer Steve Yoo. (Yonhap)

Following botched attempts to enter the country, he filed a lawsuit against the South Korean consulate general in Los Angeles in October 2015 for refusing to grant him a visa. Yoo reportedly applied for an F-4 visa, which is usually issued to Koreans living overseas.

In 2017, the Seoul High Court ruled the refusal was appropriate, but the Supreme Court in July ordered the same court to revisit the ruling, saying it violated due administrative procedure.

Yoo, 43, had been a mega-hit singer until the citizenship issue sparked public fury in a country where mandatory military service is a sensitive issue.

By law, all able-bodied men have to serve in the armed forces for around two years before the age of 38.


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