SBSPlus‘ new program Comeback Show Top 10 has become hot topic as it brought up the question of bringing Yoo Seung Jun back to South Korea. Comeback Show Top 10 will be aired in November, and will focus on helping past idols to make a comeback. The idol contestants on the show have 24 hours to promote themselves and earn 33.3% of the votes to win.
The producer of Comeback Show Top 10, Kim Jong Jin, commented “I will investigate by targeting the whole population and ask if they would approve of Yoo Seung Jun’s comeback. If more than 33% of the nation actively supports his comeback, then we will look into the procedures necessary to bring him back to the country.”
For those of you who have no clue about who Yoo Seung Jun is, I just want to say he was the biggest star of K-pop. Since his debut in 1997, everyone was singing his songs, dancing his moves, and knowing his name. He had fame and fans more than anyone else in the K-pop industry and everyone wanted to be the next Yoo Seung Jun.
So, how come he is never mentioned in any variety shows or dramas, or in South Korea in general? Well, he basically got caught in a lie. He was born in Korea, but was raised in the United States and it wasn’t until 2002 that he had to choose between being a Korean citizen or an American citizen. Despite the fact that he promised Korean citizens that he would follow the law of South Korea and serve his time in the military several times in interviews, he gave up his Korean citizenship to gain American citizenship at the last minute negating the ability of the Korean government to draft him. Hearing the news, fans became outraged of his actions and everyone including the government turned against him, the government considered his actions to be ‘desertion’ deported him to the US and banned him out of the country and out of their lives. Since the ban in 2002, the only time he was allowed to come back to South Korea was in 2003 for his father-in-law’s funeral.
Some say that time will heal everything, and he will eventually return to South Korea. Now in 2011, with the new program Comeback Show Top 10, is he going to be allowed in South Korea? More importantly, will the South Korean government allow it just for a T.V. program? Does he even deserve to come back?
More than the citizenship controversy, the main problem was about the lying and betrayal. He lied and betrayed not only one person, but the whole country. South Koreans take the mandatory military service for men seriously. It’s a law for all South Korea born men to serve time in military and even though no one seems to want to go, they do, and there’s no exceptions for anyone and that includes celebrities. Why is this such a big deal? What many international K-pop fans fail to realize is that technically, South Korea is still at war with North Korea because no peace treaty was ever signed at the ‘end’ of the Korean War. The tension between the two countries is very high and the reigning peace can be broken at anytime. That’s why the mandatory service is so important, so that they not only have a military force, but that the men of South Korea will have some defense and battle knowledge should the unthinkable occur.
I really doubt that Yoo Seung Jun will be allowed back into South Korea, especially if the reason is to make a K-pop comeback. I honestly have no idea what the producer is thinking because Yoo Seung Jun should never be allowed to return to South Korea. Betraying your country, or what was once your country, is a big deal. That may sound harsh, but don’t feel too sorry for him because his career is actually doing well in China. He signed a 15 year contract with Jackie Chan‘s agency and he is continuing his acting career in the bigger film markets of China and Hollywood. It’s not like he’s floundering in China so there’s no sympathetic reason for South Koreans to ‘forgive’ him and to let him come back. It may be possible for him to receive 33.33% of the vote on Comeback Show Top 10, but that vote is not going to change anything in the bigger scheme of things. If he were allowed to re-enter South Korea to make a K-pop comeback, there would be trouble.