U-KISS Kiseop quietly enlisted on Thursday without any special event.
On Thursday U-KISS Kiseop enlisted at the Nonsan Army Training Center with no special event, but he did say goodbye to fans. In a handwritten letter that he uploaded on Instagram, he talked about the staff and fans who have been with the group for the past ten years.
“It’s been 10 years since I’ve been active with U-KISS,” and “For 10 years I have been running with the members, our staff, and our fans,” he wrote. Continuing, he mentions that he is a bit embarrassed by his late enlistment and that he is lacking in many ways. Even so, he plans to return after completing his training and service sincerely.
After completing basic training, Kiseop will take on the role of a social service worker. Because of spinal disc issues, the singer will not be able to become an active duty soldier. Notably, he is the third member from his group to enter the military following member Soohyung and Hoon, the latter of which entered earlier this week. The remaining members Eli, who is American, and Jun who is much younger, will focus on individual activities.
Meanwhile, Kiseop has been active in both Korea and Japan. Late last year, his Japanese Christmas album Glory topped the Oricon chart. Months before, he and Hoon formed a unite and released a successful Japanese single.
As the investigations involving K-pop celebrities — namely the Burning Sun and Jung Joon-young cases — have exploded internationally due to their seemingly infinite layers of intrigue, corruption, and collusion, President Moon Jae-In has called for a thorough investigation of the cases.
On Monday, President Moon Jae-In released a public order for the Burning Sun, Jung Joon-young, and Jang Ja-yeon cases to be thoroughly investigated. In a powerful televised statement, the president laid bare some of the most challenging aspects of the ongoing cases including corruption and public sentiment:
“Even though there is a lot of public suspicions, there are cases where the truth has not been revealed for many years or has even been concealed.The common characteristic [of these cases] is that they have occurred in the privileged class of society and the prosecution and police have shown signs of intentional mismanagement […] actively obstructed the search for the truth and concealed it from the people […]If we don’t find out the truth of these cases, which took place in the socially privileged class, we won’t be able to speak of a just society,” said the president.”
Notably, as a result of him including and speaking of Jang’s case, which was to close at the end of March, it has officially been extended by two months to May. Even so, a decade has passed since the case first started in 2009 and the 15-year statute of limitation regarding sexual crimes may still be upheld.
The renewed momentum into the Jang case seems to have little effect on Yoon Ji-oh, an actress and friend of the late Jang. In particular, Yoon is one of the only people to come forward as a witness to abuse that her friend endured at the hands of powerful men.
Furthermore, since revealing her identity in the process of this reopened case, she has continued to pursue justice with unwavering passion and purpose aided by those seeking a just end to the investigation as well.
On the same day as President Moon’s announcement, Yoon took to social media where she expressed her gratitude. Today for the first time in a long time, since my past 15 testimonies, I see the light,” said Yoon. “I have so much gratitude and respect for all of you. Although I am lacking and weak you all have protected and supported me” and “I will continue to testify in good faith,” she said, thanking the president and her advocates.
The attention brought to the matter by President Moon, the country’s most public political figure, is an answer to concerns that Yoon voiced last week. After attending a session with investigators where she provided her 14th testimony on the Jang case, Yoon expressed consternation over the lack of media and public attention. “Each time Jang’s case comes up it is overlooked, but please pay more attention to it,” she said.
As Yoon continues her public campaign for truth, it is yet to be seen whether the same energy will be transferred to prosecutors and the court where justice will ultimately be tested.
On Monday, actor Jung Il-woo announced that he will be embarking on a limited fan meeting tour this May. The tour, titled “Him,” will start in Tokyo and Osaka on the 24th and 25th of the month, respectfully. That said, there is a possibility that more cities and counties will be added to the tour.
In his announcement on Instagram, the actor wrote that “we will [notify] you [of] further for other countries/cities,” hinting that there may be more to come. Notably, this is Jung’s first fan meeting since he completed his military service in November.
Meanwhile, Jung is currently starring in the historical drama Haechi as Prince Lee Geum.
Hoon, a member of veteran K-pop group U-KIss, bid his fans farewell as he joined the military on Monday.
U-KISS Hoon quietly entered the military on Monday without any special event. As with all new able-bodied recruits, the singer will undergo basic training for five weeks before being assigned a permanent position.
However, while the singer did not hold a special event, Hoon posted a handwritten letter to his fans on social media. “Thank you Kiss Me. I’ll return well!” the singer wrote, referring to the name of the U-KISS’ fan club.
“I’m going to [complete my service] with confidence. Since I’ve joined U-KISS, I’ve had so many many memorable and happy moments until now. I’ll come back to you with a heart and body that is like an adult,” he wrote. In addition to these promises and show of gratitude, the singer also said that fans would give him strength throughout his service.
Meanwhile, Hoon is the second member of the group to enlist. A little over a year ago, the group’s leader Soohyun began his service in December 2017. Following Hoon’s enlistment, Kiseop is expected to enter the military later this month on the 21st. On the other hand, Eli who was born and grew up in the U.S., and June who is not of age yet, will focus on individual activities.
Rapper Microdot has been laying low ever since a scandal involving his parents came to life, but decided to make a move to distance himself from Jung Joon-young.
On Wednesday, Shin Jae-ho, better known by his stage name Microdot, distanced himself from singer and TV celebrity Jung Joon-young. Last October, the two collaborated on the song “You,” which Shin advertised on his Instagram account.
However, with the recent revelations that Jung filmed and shared footage of 10 different women he has sexual relations with without their consent, the rapper deleted the ad. In particular, it is one of the few actions the artists has taken on social media since his own scandal broke last year. Further, he joins a growing list of celebrities and entertainers who are separating themselves from Jung.
During the financial crisis in the 1990s, Shin’s parents borrowed money from friends and took out loans with no intention of paying them back. The now senior couple left to start life anew in New Zealand where they have prospered. Now, with the negative effects, the situation has caused their son, the couple is now actively taking steps to settle the matter.
Who exactly is Seungri, the hallyu star currently surrounded by various controversies in Korea?
Right now, whenever a Korean individual or Kpop fan hears or reads the 2 syllables Seungri, the first thing that comes to mind would be that celebrity who is in the news for various scandals. Keywords are likely to be Burning Sun assault, offering women to investors, illegal filming of sexual content, retirement, nation’s traitor etc. But just prior to a few months ago, Seungri was not a hated individual but a world star who’s influence was especially prominent in Asia.
Who is Seungri?
Seungri also known as Lee Seung Hyun was the maknae of Kpop’s global idol group, Big Bang. The 29 year old idol made his debut under YG Entertainment in 2006 with Big Bang to later become one of the most popular boy groups in the world. Seungri was one of the youngest singers during that time, merely 16 years old, when he stepped into the entertainment industry. Over the years, Seungri experienced various roles in the entertainment industry as singer, songwriter, actor, producer and entrepreneur.
Prior to controversy
Big Bang had their first break through in 2007 with the release of their first extended play ‘Always’, Big Bang took their place as one of the most influential artists as they focused on producing and creating their own songs. During this time, leader and producer G-Dragon was gaining more attention as fans from the group as his songs became hits setting records for continuously topping charts and sales. Some of G-Dragon’s earliest hits were ‘Lies’ (2007), ‘Last Farewell’ (2007), ‘But I Love U’ (2007).
With Big Bang’s continuously growing popularity, the group was having concerts within 7 months of debuting. As they continued to rise in popularity in Korea, they set their sights for Japan just one year after debut. During that year, the members had hectic schedules letting exhaustion pile up to the point G-Dragon, T.O.P and Seungri became hospitalized halting activities. Seungri already had an ankle injury when it was reported he later lost consciousness towards the end of a show on December 29, 2007. Later it was reported Big Bang had earned over $11.5 Million USD just in 2007. Considering inflation in 2019, 11.5 Million dollars was worth a lot more 12 years ago.
The following year in 2008, Big Bang was very successful in Japan becoming one of the groups to solidify the hallyu wave. By 2009, the group was pursuing solo activities during which each member focused on nurturing their individual talents. Seungri was well known for wanting to “shed” his maknae image at this time for a more mature look. He won his first award with his solo ‘Strong Baby’ tasting his individual success at the age of 19.
In the following years, Seungri continued his solo activities while also promoting as a member of Big Bang. He took on various acting roles, released more solo music, developed his DJ skills etc. Seungri was in some ways overshadowed by other Big Bang members in the entertainment industry. Once his hyungs went on hiatus for military service, Seungri’s popularity and activities undeniably surged.
Just a year ago, Seungri was the only Big Bang member who was not serving mandatory military service yet. As a result, his popularity was growing not only in South Korea but also abroad as the only Big Bang member ‘to hold the fort’ before he went on hiatus for his own mandatory military service in Spring 2019. He made several guest appearances on MBC’s ‘I Live Alone’ increasing his popularity as viewers learned he was a considerate, detail oriented person in addition to being a successful businessman.
After his segment in ‘I Live Alone’ was aired, Seungri was widely complimented for his successful ramen franchise company that has over 45 locations all over the world claiming annual earnings of approximately $96 Million USD. From then on, other successful businesses of the idol/entrepreneur was in the headlines like dance academy, clubs, DJ label etc.. Public perspective of Big Bang Seungri was shifting from an immature playboy often in the headlines because of scandals, clubbing and such to a mature and charismatic man. He went on to explain his tendency to pursue all forms of entertainment led him his success today as an entrepreneur in the show.
Seungri further explained on ‘I Live Alone’ that while his current businesses may seem successful he has experienced failure in previous business ventures. He stated he lost many things but learned from those incidents leading to his current identity (in 2018).
Shortly after Seungri’s image as a successful businessman continued to garner positive reception, he was reported to be the new CEO of YGX in June 2018. YGX is a subsidiary of YG Entertainment that merged with Seungri’s DJ label NHR.
This momentum unfortunately did not last as news about his club, Burning Sun’s alleged assault broke the headlines in January 2019. Kim posted online he was assaulted by security and police when he tried to help a female at the club. This case is currently under investigation and with so many articles with various information, the exact details has become unclear.
Soon after, news about Seungri lobbying to investors with prostitutes joined the headlines. It led to chaos in the entertainment industry as various prominent figures were identified during the investigation.
Park Han Byul’s husband was identified to be involved in this case affecting the actress’s long awaited return to the small screen in MBC’s ‘Love in Sadness’.
Shortly after, various celebrities including idols were implicated as many forms of “evidence” circulated on the Internet. Hours later, Seungri declared he would retire on his Instagram which was met with derision.
There are various rumors and speculations about the controversies surrounding Seungri, but this article will not be delving in that direction. Instead, the focus will be what may have led to such controversies in the first place. What makes this such a big deal would be because it forced a lot of the “dirty laundry” in the entertainment industry to become public. It’s not a simple matter of someone caught breaking the law. But of a world star as the cause of the controversies that led to implicating other influential people.
In Korea, there are many situations where superficially everyone verbally supports gender equality and put their faith in the LAW. However, behind closed quarters there’s corruption, bribery and connections that can solve many things. A common plot seen in Korean drama where a chaebol uses their power, money and influence to be above the law is not completely without a grain of truth. In reality, it isn’t just chaebols but also influential figures in all parts of society, not only in South Korea but in every other country of the world. Just a couple years ago, Korea was in complete chaos as a nation because of abused power. If you’re unaware, the previous Korean president was impeached in 2016.
Many foreigners are unaware of Korean culture that takes hierarchy, social connections, “specs” (Korean term for social economic status) etc. very seriously. For a general idea, I would personally recommend watching Misaeng (2014) starring Im Si Wan, Lee Sung Min and Kang Sora.
In Korea, there are still many people who work overtime without being able to request for overtime pay, sick leave and vacations. This is something I myself have experienced when I interned in Korea just a few years ago. Additionally, female employees are still pressured to pour alcohol for male colleagues. An example would be a scene in the beginning of episode 2 in JTBC’s ‘Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food’ (2018). Furthermore, prostitution is illegal but ‘red light districts’ do exist.
This isn’t the first time YG’s celebrities have caused waves in the industry because of scandals. There have been previous scandals in the entertainment industry because of sexual and physical assault, harassment, prostitution, illegal drugs, drunk driving, tax evasion, sponsorship, adultery, underage drinking etc. in all areas of the entertainment world.
Many of the celebrities who were implicated in various scandals mentioned above were able to return to the entertainment industry after a few years. This itself shows society may easily forget and forgive while failing to fix the actual problem resulting in lofty disdain for indiscretions and breaking the law.
The controversies surrounding Seungri aren’t exactly new in Korean society. Seungri’s status whether guilty or innocent doesn’t matter as much as the fact that he isn’t the first nor the last person who will be accused, indicted, investigated etc. There are others who have probably done the same things mentioned in the controversies and there may be more in the future regardless of whether indicted or not. Aside from investigating to find out the truth, I think it is important to consider what this means for Korean society and what can be done to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
There are a lot of things I could say about Seungri’s controversies that many may agree or disagree. No doubt I would be using lots of colorful vocabulary if I was to write about it. But taking a step back to see how someone who debuted at the young age of 16 ended up becoming called out as the “nation’s traitor” 14 years later, there’s probably various factorsin the entertainment industryand society that played a significant role in Seungri’s current situation.
Could it be Seungri’s controversies are being used to cover something even bigger? Just a passing thought seeing all the attention focused on entertainment these days instead of fine dust levels from China, N.Korea, economy etc. I suddenly remembered SBS’s drama Pinocchio (2014) starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk. It’s a drama where the most powerful people hyped up celebrity news to hide conspiracies. (Crying because of Lee Jong Suk’s upcoming military hiatus.)
Seungri stated he has decided to retire from the entertainment industry after seeing how much his controversy have affected various people on his Instagram. The idol further shared he does not want his situation to tarnish YG Entertainment and Big Bang’s reputation.
According to YTN Star, YG Entertainment stated “Seungri’s decision to retire was not discussed with them. Seungri made his decision on his own.” YG also added Seungri has been in pain seeing people associated with him experience hardships (due to his controversy).
Rapper Mommy Son’s newly released Youtube video has been garnering attention for directly dissing ‘Burning Sun’.
On March 9 (KST), rapper Mommy Son released a new video on his Youtube channel titled (roughly translated) “Chewing up high school rappers! Middle school rappers cipher”. The video is captioned with “middle school rappers who would like to join are always welcome” followed by directions on how to join his gang.
As amazing are all the middle school rappers in the this video, the main reason the video has been garnering such attention is because Mommy Son directly dissed out Big Bang Seungri’s Burning Sun. He directly rapped “screw Burning Sun” to which many viewers have left comments applauding or critiquing Mommy Son’s video. What do you think?
Check out Mommy Son’s part starting 2:34, he raps “screw Burning Sun” at 2:48
Big Bang Seungri’s club, Burning Sun, has been surrounded by lots of controversy. Now, the first informant of the incident just broke his silence on his social media account.
On March 10, the first informant of the Burning Sun controversy-Kim Sang Kyo, broke his silence on his Instagram account. The article reports Kim Sang Kyo posted moments after news broke of Seungri now considered as a suspect for the sex scandal at Burning Sun.
The informant reposted the news headline about Seungri booked as a suspect and added a few words to share his own thoughts, ‘next will be the police.’
Informant Kim Sang Kyo’s role in the Burning Sun controversy is reported to have started when Kim shared he was assaulted by both security and police when he tried help a female who was being dragged away by an employee back in November 2018. With this start, other allegations including illegal drug activity and prostitution made the headlines. Currently Seungri is no longer a member of Burning Sun‘s board of directors and the club has been permanently closed for investigation.
Hyuna recently updated fans many pictures and videos to everyone’s delight.
On March 9th, Kpop artist Hyuna updated fans with some lovely pictures and videos. After seeing various posts one after another, many fans are speculating she may be teasing of her upcoming return.
Just over a month ago, news broke of Hyuna and beau E’Dawn‘s departure from Cube Entertainment to Psy’s new agency. As many fans await for Hyuna’s return to the stage, there have been rumors of the couple‘s possible duet in the near future.