The Supreme Court has ruled that the government’s move to bar singer and actor Yoo Seung-joon’s entry to South Korea is against the law.
The top court on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that had ruled against Yoo, sending the case back to the Seoul High Court.
Yoo had filed a suit against the South Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles in late 2015 after the office refused to grant him an F-4 visa, a long-term residency visa for foreign nationals of Korean heritage.
Yoo was a popular artist at around the turn of the century, but came under immense criticism in 2002 after giving up his South Korean passport for U.S. citizenship shortly before he was to enlist in mandatory military service.
Typically, all able-bodied men who hold a South Korean passport must join the military for a little under two years. Multiple passport holders that give up their South Korean citizenship are exempt from conscription and in most cases face no penalties for doing so.
However, shortly after Yoo gave up his South Korean passport, he was barred from entering South Korea, with the Justice Ministry saying he could engage in "acts that harm the nation’s interest or the public’s safety."
At present, Yoo remains effectively barred from entering South Korea.
[Photo : YONHAP News]