(ATTN: UPDATES with foreign ministry's response in last 2 paras)
SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- A Korean American singer has filed a lawsuit against South Korea's diplomatic mission in Los Angeles for refusing to grant him a visa despite winning a court battle earlier this year, legal sources said Wednesday.
In the suit filed with the Seoul Administrative Court against the South Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles, Steve Yoo, better known as Yoo Seung-jun here, reportedly claimed that he was refused a visa to visit to South Korea even though he won litigation connected to the case in March.
Yoo, 43, had been banned from entering South Korea since 2002, when he became the subject of public outcry after giving up his South Korean citizenship for allegedly dodging military service, a highly sensitive topic for a country still technically at war with North Korea.
After botched attempts to enter the country, he filed a lawsuit against the same diplomatic mission 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 2019 ordered the same court to revisit the ruling, saying it violated due administrative procedure. In November last year, the appeals court ruled in favor of Yoo.
On March 13, the top court upheld a lower court's decision. But its decision did not mean that Yoo's entrance to South Korea would be automatically permitted, as the main contentious point in the lawsuit was whether the visa refusal was proper.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday that the visa rejection proceeded according to due process.
Yoo "applied for an F-4 visa at the South Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles, and the Consul General who was authorized to handle visa issuance rejected to grant him a visa, after extensively reviewing relevant legal matters and the overall process," the ministry said, adding that, "Meeting the necessary requirements of F-4 visa application does not mean that a visa should be issued."
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