[Opinion] Two Sides of the Same Coin

The current investigation involving Burning Sun, Seungri, Jung Joon-young and their associates are one side of a coin. On the other side being Jang Ja-yeon’s life, death, and legacy.

Jung Joon-young (left), Jang Ja-yeon, Lee Seung-hyun – OSEN News database

Police have been having a busy 2019. For the past few weeks, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has taken on multiple cases revolving around former BIGBANG member Lee Seung-hyun, popularly known as Seungri, and singer and TV celebrity Jung Joon-young that involves sex trafficking, creating and sharing illegal sexual footage, using and distributing drugs, rape, and collusion with corrupt police.

As the investigation of the two moves forward, several other K-pop idols including Highlight’s Yong Jun-hyung and F.T. Island’s Choi Jong-hoon become implicated in these allegations, their cases have started to expose the seedy underbelly of the K-pop world.

Past reports exposing unfair “slave” contracts, abusive and intense rehearsal and training sessions, and agencies’ tendency to overwork their talent for profit have painted the mechanisms fueling the K-pop machine in a negative light. However, adding in the factor that the stars themselves can be equally unethical adds another profound layer of grime to the picture. It illustrates that the issues exposed in these investigations and the actions that these stars engaged in are a result of larger societal factors.

These factors include but are not limited what Crystal Tai, a writer for South China Morning Post argues is “South Korea’s culture of toxic masculinity” and what Haeryun Kang, a freelance journalist and editor, says it is the “pervasive power inequality between men and women in countless, unseen sectors of Korean society.”

Indeed it is clear that Lee, Jung, and other men who were empowered in their masculinity, fame, and wealth, took advantage of several women wrongfully and illegally for their benefit, entertainment, and pleasure. While Lee and Jung’s victims have not publically identified themselves out of fear, they do have a voice in the form of the late Jang Ja-yeon and her advocate Yoon Ji-oh.

Like these unknown women, the talented, pretty, and well-liked Jang Ja-yeon was victimized by men in positions of considerable power including show producers, journalists, media and entertainment executives at the behest of her agent Kim Sung-hoon who pimped her out for preferential treatment.

Pallbearers carry a picture of Jang Ja-yeon during her funeral procession – OSEN News database

Jang revealed this information in a seven-page letter with a list of 31 names she left behind after taking her life just five months after her debut movie role as Sunny in 2009’s film Boys Over Flowers. Notably, while her case was hastily closed in trials following her death, it was reopened in the midst of the 2018 #MeToo movement after prosecutors discovered ack of conduct on behalf of the investigators at the time.

Currently, her case is ongoing with details unfolding alongside Lee Seung-hyun’s and Jung Joon-young’s, acting as a ying to their yang. The interesting juxtaposition of these investigations plays like two sides of the same coin.

On one side are the salacious details of powerful men uninterested in the rule of law as they drugged, raped, filmed, and trafficked women for their own means. On the other, is the heartbreaking tale of a woman who was on the receiving end of their dehumanization and is an example of the real-life consequence to their actions.

MBC “News Desk” anchor interviews Yoon Ji-oh – MBC

Unfortunately, I may have painted Jang as too much of victim. Jang’s side of the coin shouldn’t be viewed as a sad and powerless story, but also as a woman who sought change. Her friend and advocate Yoon Ji-oh who witnessed some of the abuse Jang endured said that she doesn’t believe (link in Korean) that the seven-page letter Jang wrote was a suicide note. Instead, Jang intended those pages of papers were to act as legal documents to enact justice.

But how that coin will land? Will it heads where justice is served a movement to rejects the actions of these men and to expose and punish those like them? Or will it be tails, where only the surface is cleaned but the scum beneath remains?




By O.C


Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates

Seungri Might Postpone His Military Enlistment Due to Ongoing Investigation

Seungri returned home after being investigated by police overnight. As the seriousness of the investigation grows, the former singer looks to postpone his military enlistment.

Seungri/ Lee Seung-hyun – OSEN News

At 6:14 am Friday, police released Seungri, real name Lee Seung-hyun, after questioning for about 16 hours. Lee, who had appeared at the Seoul Metropolitan Police agency around 2 p.m. the day before, was investigated overnight as a suspect.

Have gone through more than 20 hours of police questioning with more likely to come, Lee is expected to officially apply for the postponement of his enlistment at the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) today. The MMA is part of South Korea’s Ministry of Defense responsible for the compulsatory military conscription that all Korean men of age must oblige. Additionally, they are also charged with handling and fulfilling other critical personnel needs.

Speaking to a group of reporters, Lee said that he participated in the investigation sincerely and that “as of today, I will officially apply to the [MMA] for a postponement of my enlistment,” and “I will postpone the date of my enlistment and show that I am sincerely [participating in] the investigation until the end.”

Lee is suspected of distributing drugs, assault, sexual assault, collusion with the police, soliciting prostitutes, and tax evasion. When the scandal was just beginning to break, he voluntarily appeared before police on Feb. 27. At that time, investigators questioned him overnight for approximately 8.5 hours where he also took a drug test that came back negative. Moreover, he also submitted a petition asking the authorities to investigate him thoroughly so as to settle any matter completely.

In addition to the charges related to club Burning Sun and sing Jung Joon-yong, new reports alleged that he gambled in Las Vegas in the U.S. One media outlet disclosed that he may even be involved in attempting to arrange an overseas sex trade. Reportedly, he sent picture and information of a woman to “A,” a representative or delegate who was in Indonesia at the time.

Meanwhile, earlier this week Lee announced his retirement from the entertainment industry via social media which was followed by an official statement by YG Entertainment.





By O.C


Reporter Who Broke Story About Seungri Explains Why It Needed to Be Told

The SBSfunE reporter who broke the story about BIGBANG’s Seungri soliciting prostitutes for foreign investors explains their motivations to publish it.

Image source – OSEN News database/ Instiz online community

On Sunday, Kang Kyung-hoon, the reporter who broke the stunning article about BIGBANG’s Seungri hiring prostitutes for foreign investors, responded to a comment on the online community Instiz. In the response, Kang why they were motivated to publish the story on the singer and his alleged dealings in the black market.

According to the reported, while they do feel back about the pain the information in the article may have cause Seungri’s young fans, the report and its forthcoming follow-up report are not a mistake. This is because it is bigger than the Seungri, his group, businesses, or fans. It is about society.

“I am most sensitive to those who are high school age; I think that high school fans might have been hurt by reading the article. But the reason why I can’t erase the article or stop the follow-up report is because I feel bad for [his] fans. This is something I have to society,” wrote Kang.

Image source – OSEN News database

Moreover, the reporter reveals that they gave the article a lot of thought and still worry quite a bit while covering the story. Even so, Kang understands that it might be too hard for many to see the situation from their perspective.

On the other hand, Seungri and his agency YG Entertainment have denied the allegations presented in Kang’s article unilaterally. In order to clear his name, Seungri surrendered to police voluntarily last week were he endured almost nine hours of questioning.

Further, he decided to cancel all of his upcoming activities in anticipation of a full investigation, one that his eager to go through. On the night that he went to police, he also submitted a plea that they examine him thoroughly so has to completely debunk any allegation.

However, with his enlistment into the army anticipated to take place within the next few months, it has yet to be seen if he can recover from his string of controversies before going on a military hiatus.





By O.C


G-Dragon Returns to Social Media With a Post About Philosophy

While in the midst of serving his country in the military, BIGBANG member G-Dragon made a surprise posting on social media.

Image source – OSEN News

G-Dragon, real name Kwon Ji-yong, is currently approaching the one year mark since enlisting last year this month. Like many who serve, many find different sources of strength and morale. For actor Joo Won, he found solace in television, movies, and girl groups. On the other hand, Kwon has apparently been hitting the books.

On Monday, the singer wrote “everyone say hello” and “Nietzsche’s words” as an introduction to two pictured excerpts from the philosopher’s work. The titles of the photographed pages roughly translate to “How to Live” and “Hold on to your ideals, not your country.” His last upload is a screenshot of his phone where the time “8:18,” which also coincides with his birthday (August 18).


Notably, this is the singer’s first post on social media since he enlisted on Feb. 25 last years leading a very enthusiastic response from his 16 million Instagram followers. Meanwhile, Kwon is scheduled to finish his service sometime this October.





By O.C


K-Pop Idols Who Turn 30 in 2019

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year


K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

K-pop idols turning 30 this year

Yang Hyun-Suk (YG) Releases Statement Apologizing for Seungri’s Burning Sun Controversy

Yang Hyuk-suk entered the area of controversy surrounding Seungri regarding a violent incident that occurred at the nightclub Burning Sun, a business in which the singer is involved.

On January 31, the CEO of YG Entertainment Yang Hyun-suk apologized for the assault that took place at Burning Sun in an attempt to resolve the situation, protect Seungri, and clarify specific facts related to him as it stands.

The apology was posted on his public blog on Thursday afternoon and notably focused on Seungri rather than on the nightclub situation as a whole. Specifically, addressing some rumors and where the entertainment agency stands in all of this.

After apologizing to fans for the unexpected controversy surround Seungri and the rumors that have circulated because of it said he wanted to address these directly. “I wanted to quickly confirm and respond to the rumors about Seungri’s club from the beginning. But it was a difficult situation for YG [Entertainment] to come forward and announce its official position since it is [Seungri’s] personal business and has been carried out completely unrelated to the company,” wrote Yang.

Moreover, Yang explained that it was difficult to determine fact from fiction. “I also had issues checking the facts. I’ve never been to the club and had no idea who the club’s personnel were, so there was no way to ask or confirm details about the incident.”

However, Yang did clarify whether the BIGBANG member was present at the club when the incident took place. According to the CEO, on the day of the incident, Nov. 24, Seungri was at Burning Sun until 3 a.m. at which time he departed. This is three hours before the violent alternation between a club patron, personnel, and police, which is confirmed to have taken place after 6 a.m.

Additionally, he refuted the rumor that that illegals drugs somehow played into the situation. “The focus seems to be shifting to investigating possible drug use regardless of the [physical assault],” comment Yang. Seungri took a urine and hair test to see if he tested positive of any drugs. They both came back negative.

With all that said, Yang expressed regret for the fact that Seungri failed to deescalate the situation and issue an apology early one. “I feel very sorry for the fans who must have been worried about this too. I tried to express my position in writing this apology, but I had to hold off for a while. We decided it would be better to clarify the position after the investigation revealed the truth of the case more clearly.”

Image source – MBC

On Monday, MBC “New Week” reported on a recently surfaced incident that took place at Burning Sun last November. Kim Sang-gyo, a man in his twenties, claimed to have been assaulted by the club’s personnel and police that result in severe injuries including broken ribs after being dragged out of the building. His story launched an investigation on the claim with investigators going over CCTV footage, questioning the police who were present, and testing for drugs.




Source (1)(2)

Translated by O.C


Min Hyo-rin Says She Didn’t “Gain Weight” During Her First Instagram Live Session

Actress Min Hyo-rin had her first Instagram session.

On December 21st, Min Hyo-rin had a fan signing event at a department store located in Ansan, Gyeonggi-do.

It was her first official public activity since she got married to BIGBANG’s Taeyang in last February.

After the event, she went on an Instagram live session. She sent greetings to fans and said, “I am on my way home after having a fan sign event. So I am very happy right now”.

Min Hyorin also mentioned that many people told her online that she looks like she gained weight. Min Hyo-rin said, “To be honest, I am a little sad that people say I look like I gained weight. I didn’t gain weight, and I don’t know why I look like that in the picture”.

Yet, Min Hyo-rin continued the live session with smile. She confessed that she is a big fan of BLACKPINK’s Jennie and even shortly sang ‘SOLO’. She also said that she recently started learning cooking, and that one of her best dishes is beef eggplant stir-fry.


Original article
by Audrey Joung


BIGBANG G-Dragon Selected As Most Well-Rounded K-Pop Artist by Teenagers

BIGBANG G-Dragon ranked first in a poll as the most well-rounded K-Pop star with BTS Suga coming second.

Image source – OSEN News

On November 10JAM, a teen research institute conducted a poll operated by Genie Music for two weeks. The goal of the poll was to determine which K-Pop idol teenagers believed was the most well-rounded. Meaning an artist who can dance, sing, write, and compose music.

With 21% of the vote, BIGBANG member G-Dragon topped the list. Although he is currently serving in the military and has not released solo music since his self-titled album in 2017, is popularity and reputation remain in good standing. Moreover, he continues to be recognized as a talented idol.

In second place with 17% is BTS member Suga, who has participated in the production of the group’s albums. Further, he he also released a mixtape, showing off the range of his musicality. RM, the leader of BTS ranked fifth with 8%.

In third and fourth place are Zico and Jinyoung, former members of Block B and B1A4, respectively.



Original article

Translated by O.C


Seungri and WINNER Seung-Yoon Donate Millions to Lou Gehrig’s Foundation

Seungri from BIGBANG and WINNER’s Kang Seung-yoon made significant donations to support those who have Lou Gehrig’s disease.

On Wednesday, Seungri donated 100 million won (approximately 88,533 USD) to the Seungil Hope Foundation. The donated money will be used to help build a Lou Gehrig’s medical center and to buy daily necessities for children from low-income families. Last year, the singer also donated 100 million won to commemorate his birthday.

In addition to Seungri, WINNER member Kang Seung-yoon also donated 30 million won to the foundation, an organization founded to bring attention to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Notable, this is Kang’s second donation to the charity, with his first being this summer for the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Sean, the president and co-founder of Seungil Hope Foundation, expressed his gratitude towards the two. “I am very grateful to my juniors for being good influences and donating,” he said after finding out about their gifts. Continuing, Sean added that they would do their best to continue to deliver messages of hope to those suffering from the illness.

Meanwhile, Seungri is preparing for solo concerts in Hong Kong and Japan while WINNER is set to release a new single on the 19th.



Original article
Image source – YG Entertainment

Translated by O.C


BIGBANG Taeyang’s Older Brother Makes Guest Appearance on ‘Hello Counselor’

Dong Hyun-Bae, an actor and older brother to BIGBANG member Taeyang, made a guest appearance on “Hello Counselor.”

Image source – KBS2

On the December 17 episode of KBS2 “Hello Counselor,” the Taeyang older brother, actor Dong Hyun-bae, appeared on the show along with Luna, Yoo Seung-ho, and Seo In-young.

While both successful, Dong revealed that there is a specific aspect of Taeyang’s life that he envies: marriage. Talking about it further, the actor said that he feels lonely living alone. Moreover, he mentions that as time goes on, his desire to find a special someone has only grown stronger.

Meanwhile, Dong has starred in such films like Deja Vu (2018), Part-Time Spy (2017), and The Prison (2017).



Original article

Translated by O.C