Steve Yoo, otherwise known as Yoo Seung Joon, has sold over 5 million albums in his career and is one of the biggest stars in the history of K-pop. But in 2002, the South Korean government deported him and banned him from re-entering the country; and now, after losing his final appeal appeal, Steve Yoo will never be able to set foot on his homeland again. What did he do that got him banished from his homeland for the rest of his life?

Having moved to California at the age of 13 after being born and raised in Seoul, it makes sense that Steve Yoo would make a decision to become a naturalized United States citizen. But his announcement to do so in 2002 couldn't have come at a more inappropriate time, at the peak of his fame and right before he was expected to enlist in the military. After publicly expressing his commitment to fulfilling the obligation and serving his country, the rapper declared that he had been granted U.S. citizenship, preventing the Korean government from drafting him. Insulted and embarrassed by the high-profile diss, the government saw this as an act of desertion, deporting Yoo and banning him from entering the country again.

It's been 15 years since then, and after working hard and achieving mainstream success as an actor in China, Yoo has been expressing his desire to go back home. After trying and failing numerous times to be allowed re-entry, his final appeal was recently just denied, which means he can never go back to the place of his birth. Despite a public plea that showed him getting on his knees and literally begging the government to reconsider, one of Kop's biggest record-sellers of all time is now permanently banished from re-entering South Korea. No doubt the government is using him and his actions as an example to any young man who thinks they can dodge the system. Whether or not the punishment fits the crime is up for debate, but one thing is for certain — it's an all-too-real lesson learned for this one man who will never see home for the rest of his life.

Over 5 million albums sold and one of Korea's biggest acts in the late 90s


Tomorrow With You

Starring Shin Min Ah and Lee Je Hoon

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