Police Arrest Jung Joon-Young After His Admission of Guilt

Singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young has been arrested. It is the first celebrity arrest in the “Burning Sun Gate” scandal.

On Thursday at 8:50 p.m., police arrested singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young on charges of violating the Sexual Violence Crime Laws. With his arrest, Jung becomes the first entertainer to be arrested in connection with the “Burning Sun Gate,” the title given the convoluted investigations of those connected to nightclub Burning Sun, Lee Seung-hyun, popularly known as Seungri, and Jung Joon-young.

Appear at the court at 9:35 a.m. on the same day, police questioned Jung hours before his arrest from 10:30 in the morning to 12:17 in the afternoon. Prior to the warrant hearing, Jung stood before the press where he apologized using a prepared script. “I’m really sorry,” he said, and “I committed an unpardonable crime. I accepted all the charges against me. Today, we will not argue over the allegation and follow the court’s judgment.”

Jung Joon-young issues an apology and admits to charges of violating Sexual Violent Crime Laws – OSEN News

Jung also issued an apology to those he victimized. “I once again apologize to the victims. I apologize to all of the women who have been damaged through no fault of their own, and to all those who have shown interest and affection to me so far. For now on, I will sincerely cooperate with the investigation process and reflect on what I have done for the rest of my life.”

Jung wept while reading the apology and stopped talking at once point due to his tears. However, he did not answer questions from reporters following his statement. In particular, Jung kept mum on whether he received consent from the victims before share the illegally filmed videos.

As a result, public criticism of Jung as intensified. Many say that his “crocodile tears” were fake and just a device to avoid arrest. However, tears are not a valid legal reason for police to not complete an arrest warrant.

On the day of the arrest, Lim Min-sung who is a judge at the Seoul District Court, said that with the status of crucial material evidence submitted, the circumstances of and after the crimes were committed, and the progression of the investigation so far that the “reason for the arrest of the accused and its considerable validity are recognized.” Further, there was also a concern that Jung may destroy evidence, although he has submitted three mobile phones for digital forensic investigation.

Jung is suspected of spreading filming and sharing sex videos in group chatrooms he shared with other celebrities without permission. Some of the stars in these chatrooms include Lee Seung-hyun, former Highlight member Yong Jun-hyung, former F.T. Island Choi Jong-hoon, and CNBLUE member Lee Jong-hyun. Additionally, authorities believe that Jung shared at least ten videos since late 2015.

 

 

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By O.C

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[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

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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

Did Momoland’s Nancy Change Her Korean Name from Seungri to Geuru?

Momoland’s agency responded to the rumor about Nancy choosing a new name over “Seungri.”

Instagram @momoland_official

On March 20, Momoland’s member Nancy shared selfies through the group’s official Instagram account. In three posts shared on the same day, Nancy’s name is written as “Geuru,” instead of “Lee Seungri,” the Korean name Nancy has been using.

Because of this, fans assumed that she changed her Korean name to Geuru. Especially as the K-pop industry is suffering from a great disturbance caused by the former Big Bang member Seungri, the assumption sounded reasonable. Several news outlets, too, reported that Nancy changed her Korean name.

 

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[#그루] ?Green Vibes☘️ ⠀⠀⠀ #모모랜드 #MOMOLAND #낸시 #NANCY

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However, Momoland’s agency corrected the rumor and stated that Geuru is only her another stage name.

“Nancy did not change her name,” MLD Entertainment stated. “Her Korean name is still Lee Seungri and Geuru is just a stage name she used before.”

On the same day, Momoland came back with the fifth mini album. The group is currently promoting with the title, “I’m So Hot.”

 

By Heewon Kim

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Police Believe Seungri Solicited Prostitutes for a Birthday Party in the Philippines

In the process of their investigation of the charges put against former BIGBANG member Seungri, authorities believe that the former singer solicited prostitutes in both 2015 and 2017.

Seungri
A police statement about Seungri – MBN

According to an MBN report on Wednesday, police secured a statement that there were sexual services or prostitution rings at Seungri’s, real name Lee Seung-hyun, birthday party in Palawan, the Philippines, in 2017.

The police have contacted a man who reportedly gathered the women for the birthday party. Additionally, they are also looking to investigate the women said to have been at the event.

Seungri speaks to reporters outside of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency – OSEN News

News of this allegation is in addition to charges that Lee attempted to secure prostitutes for potential foreign business investors back in 2015, according to Kakao Talk messages revealed by SBS FunE News. As a result, the police investigation is expected to gain momentum as they work to uncover more information on the allegations against Lee.

Moreover, with the Military Manpower Administration having officially postponed Lee’s military enlistment by three months, police will continue to summon him for questioning.

 

 

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By O.C

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President Moon Presses for Thorough Investigation of Celebrity Cases

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.

President Moon Jae-in says that the current ongoing investigation involving celebrities needs to be investigated in a televised statement – SBS

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.”

Jang Ja-yeon – OSEN News

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.

Actress Yoon Ji-oh speaks to a group of reporters – OSEN News

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.

 

 

 

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By Olempia Castillo

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Yang Hyun-Suk Directly Responds to Reports of a Special Tax Investigation

According to media reports, YG Entertainment is under pressures due to a special tax investigation conducted by the National Tax Service. However, Yang refutes the reports as fake news.

양현석 YG엔터테인먼트 대표.
Yang Hyun-Suk – YG Entertainment

Yang Hyun-suk, YG Entertainment’s (YG) head producer and founder, drew a line on reports the company is being investigated for tax evasion. The rumor, which appears to have spread through news reports, purports that four inspectors from the National Tax Service (NTS) are currently conducting a special audit of the agency. Furthermore, as a result, Yang and YG are reportedly taking countermeasures to derail the search.

In the post directly responding to the rumor, Yang says that what one person claimed online is now being accepted as fact when it’s not. “It’s different from the truth,” he wrote. Yang states that the company did not get any notice of a special tax audit.

Moreover, even if it did, it would report it. “We are regularly investigated for tax purposes, and every time it is reported. The special tax audit is nothing more than a theory,” he explained.

Seungri appears at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for questioning – OSEN News

The rumor emerged on the heels YG terminating their contract with Seungri (real name Lee Seung-hyun). Ending the contract was a move that many felt was an attempt by YG to absolve itself of responsibility after years of chronically mismanaging Seungri. Currently, police are investigating Seungri for numerous allegations from soliciting prostitution to embezzlement. Due to the investigation, the former singer has applied for a postponement of his enlistment, which was to take place later this month.

 

 

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By O.C

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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.

 

 

 

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By O.C

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Gains Made in the Late Jang Ja-Yeon Case Gets Buried Under Celebrity Scandals

The case of the late Jang Ja-yeon, a promising actress who took her life and set the entertainment industry ablaze, is finally making gains. But in the turmoil of several consecutive celebrity scandals, the news has failed to capture public attention.

Jang Ja-Yeon – OSEN News

When actress Jang Ja-yeon took her life in 2009, she left behind a letter detailing the abuse, mostly of a sexual nature at the hands of powerful men. Sadly this included people in her agency who were supposed to take care of her such as her manager Kim Sung-hoon. In addition to those details, she also left an extensive list of 31 perpetrators.

During the trials that followed, 20 people were investigated leading to seven indictments, which included Kim and the CEO of her previous agency. Conversely, the court acquitted more than ten influential figures, leaving room for suspicion.

In 2018, the case was reopened after SBS’ “News Room” reported that a key witnessed has her testimonies suppressed by investigators. The witness, at that time, only referred to by her surname “Yoon,” claimed to have provided crucial information including the identities of those she knows to be involved.

This week, this witness came forward revealing herself to be fellow actress Yoon Ji-oh.

Yoon Ji-Oh (right) – Korea Daily

On Tuesday, actress Yoon Ji-oh, one fo the only witnesses to the abuse the late Jang Ja-Yeon suffered, officially met with Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s investigation team. With them, she provided a full statement as part of the ongoing investigation that started in 2018. According to reports, Yoon mentioned one politician and three journalists who are known to be included in Jang’s infamous list.

However, the news of her statement was quickly buried under other reports. Instead, the evolving scandal involving Seungri, Jung Joon-young and their affiliates left little room for anything else. Seeing this lack of attention, Yoon spoke openly as she aired her frustrations and highlighted Jang’s case is equally important. “Each time Jang’s case comes up it is overlooked, but please pay more attention to it,” said Yoon to a group of reporters.

Seungri, real name Lee Seung-Hyun (left) and Jung Joon-Yoon – Ilgan Sports

The next day on the 13th, Yoon took to social media where she wrote that she feels “so upset each time Jang’s case comes up, it seems like there’s an unusual amount of provocative issues” that overshadows it. Unfortunately, this may be the reality for the remaining investigation of Jung’s case. The prosecution’s committee on the investigation of the case will end its activities on the 31st. It is likely that the Seungri and Jung situation will last for the same period.

On another note, the people who are paying attention to the case have worked to ensure Yoon’s safety. A petition on the Blue Houses official website calling for Yoon to be protected given the value of her testimony surpassed 200,000 signatures this week.

The number of signatures ensures that it will get a response from a government official. According to Yoon’s social media post on the 13th, she has been granted special witness protection and moved into a special residence.

 

 

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By Olempia Castillo

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K-pop Male Idol Scandal TIMELINE

K-pop male idol scandal timeline

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Yong Jun-Hyung Admits Allegation and Leaves HIGHLIGHT

Yong Jun-hyung admitted claims about Jung Joon-young’s sex videos.

On March 14, Yong Jun-hyung wrote to Instagram to admit the claims about his involvement in the problematic group chat room.

“When I received the call about this from my agency, which was on March 11 right after the news report, I did not understand the point and told that I was not in the group chat,” he wrote. “When I said it was 2016 when I was talking to the agency to publish an official statement, I couldn’t check the exact date because the conversation with Jung Joon-young has been deleted. I understand that this caused confusions to many and I apologize.”

He went on to confess that he has received another video from Jung Joon-young in 2015. “I didn’t receive the video in 2016, but I’ve received another video. In addition, I shared an inappropriate conversation about it. Everything was very immoral and I was foolish. I did not realize that these were illegal and I thought about it too lightly. It’s also my fault not stopping him strictly.”

He had a police interview and expressed his will to admit his fault. He said, “Yesterday, I went to have a witness interview regarding the incident. I told everything as far as I know and cooperated with the investigation. Throughout the interview, I could clearly read what kind of things I said and I couldn’t help feeling shameful and miserable about it.”

Lastly, Yong Jun-hyung added that he is leaving HIGHLIGHT.

“I realized the weight of the incident. I don’t want to cause further harm to the members and those who must have been disappointed in me. So I will resign from the group on March 14, 2019. I will continue to reflect on what I’ve done over and over again. I once again apologize.”

Previously on March 11, Yong Jun-hyung promptly denied the suspicions regarding his involvement in the chat room.

 

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