South Korea: the scandal that shakes the world of K-pop

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Thanks to the denunciation of an assault in a nightclub, one of the most important scandals inside South Korea was discovered

South Korea: the scandal that shakes the world of K-pop

What began as a complaint by Kim (his full name has not been known), where he denounced a physical and violent assault in a nightclub, called Burning Sun, while apparently helping a woman who was being sexually accused, ended in a scheme of tax evasion, corruption and distribution of illicit sex videos.

Leer en español: Corea del Sur: el escándalo que sacude al mundo del K-pop

The scandal has turned aside the interest of denuclearization talks, which these days are ahead because South Korea is waiting for the implementation of agreements reached last November with North Korea. The focus of attention is especially on Lee Seung-Hyun, better known by his stage name, Seungri, and member of the popular group BigBang, since he was the one listed as director and as the main shareholder of the club where everything happened.


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The investigation

Thanks to Kim's complaint, not only the assault was revealed, but also recordings of the security cameras were shown where women were seen drugged or intoxicated walking to the VIP lounges, where they were assaulted sexually.

The above was not only confirmed by the staff who used to work at the club, but the South Korean media Dispatch revealed the chats where club staff discussed plans to attract women within these rooms, emphasizing those that were drunk. In the same way, it was learned that inside the VIP lounges there were hidden cameras that recorded the encounters between the victims and the users of these rooms.

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The tip of the iceberg

From that moment, the accusations did not stop growing, especially when the police decided to raid the club. There, they confiscated programs related to the complicity of the police in the case, as well as data related to drugs and sexual crimes.

With these new data, the links that Seungri had with the police were confirmed, since on one occasion he had bribed them so that they would not fine or close the club because of the presence of minors, something illegal in the country. In addition to the above, on March 11, Seungri decided to announce his retirement from the entertainment industry amid the prostitution scandals of which he was accused.

As The Guardian recounts, "the 28-year-old was arrested on suspicion of providing prostitutes to foreign investors in several nightclubs in the Gangnam district of Seoul". Because prostitution is illegal in South Korea, Seungri could face a penalty of up to three years; even so, Seungri did not accept the accusations.

More celebrities involved

The investigations also uncovered a group chat on the popular KakaoTalk social media network, where it was found that the singer and star of variety Jung Joon-Young had secretly filmed himself having sex with at least 10 women. Jung shared the images in the group chat, which also included the guitarist of the popular band FTIsland, Choi Jong Hoon and the guitarist of CNBlue, Lee Jong Hyun.

At a press conference, Jung admitted all the crimes, in addition to apologizing to the victims. "I filmed women without their consent and shared them in a social media chat room, and while I did it I did not feel a great sense of guilt", according to the statements made by The Interpreter. After two hours of interrogation, Jung was arrested by the police and could receive a prison sentence of up to seven and a half years.


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On the other hand, Choi is not only being investigated for the videos, but for possible connections with the police, as this would have interfered in 2016 in favor of Choi when he was driving under the levels of alcohol. Meanwhile, Lee has not been called to investigate. However, it is expected that the investigations will continue to clarify the charges to which they have been charged.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Corea del Sur: el escándalo que sacude al mundo del K-pop"