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Home is Where You Serve: Globalization and Nationalism in Korean Popular Music
Unformatted Document Text:  12 was seen as a good role model for the future of Korea. In a short period of time, he emerged as one of the most socially conscious and respected role models. The fact that he and his family resided in the U.S. was not at all a problem on defining his image as a beautiful Korean during his heydays. It was only after his official decision on American citizenship when his cultural and political identities captured public attention. Mainstream media began to refer him by his American name, Steven, rather than his well-known Korean name, Seung-jun, as a sarcastic response of the public regarding Yoo’s new identity. The public was particularly upset when he decided to be an American citizen, because they felt that he was not only a singer but also a role model. In fact it was not rare for entertainers in Korea to try to dodge the draft, out of the apparent fear of vanishing from their fans’ memory during the service period. However, because Yoo had openly said that he would be willing to contribute to national defense as a Korean citizen, the public felt that he lied and betrayed his country. At the beginning the public anger towards him was mostly based on ethical standards. As an entertainer who was often praised as a beautiful youth, he was suspected of trying to dodge military service, compulsory for all healthy Korean men, by obtaining American citizenship. Koreans possessing dual citizenship must renounce their Korean citizenship by the time they are seventeen with regard to fulfilling or be exempted from military service. However, Koreans living in foreign countries who work in Korea for less than a year had no military obligations. If they leave Korea for at least six months, they could return later with another short-term residence permit and pursue their career. It has been widely believed that a lot of salmon celebrities have taken advantage of the loopholes of the law; they came to Korea, and after one year of fame and fortune, returned overseas.

Authors: Lee, Hee-Eun.
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background image
12
was seen as a good role model for the future of Korea. In a short period of time, he
emerged as one of the most socially conscious and respected role models.
The fact that he and his family resided in the U.S. was not at all a problem on
defining his image as a beautiful Korean during his heydays. It was only after his official
decision on American citizenship when his cultural and political identities captured
public attention. Mainstream media began to refer him by his American name, Steven,
rather than his well-known Korean name, Seung-jun, as a sarcastic response of the public
regarding Yoo’s new identity. The public was particularly upset when he decided to be an
American citizen, because they felt that he was not only a singer but also a role model. In
fact it was not rare for entertainers in Korea to try to dodge the draft, out of the apparent
fear of vanishing from their fans’ memory during the service period. However, because
Yoo had openly said that he would be willing to contribute to national defense as a
Korean citizen, the public felt that he lied and betrayed his country. At the beginning the
public anger towards him was mostly based on ethical standards. As an entertainer who
was often praised as a beautiful youth, he was suspected of trying to dodge military
service, compulsory for all healthy Korean men, by obtaining American citizenship.
Koreans possessing dual citizenship must renounce their Korean citizenship by the time
they are seventeen with regard to fulfilling or be exempted from military service.
However, Koreans living in foreign countries who work in Korea for less than a year had
no military obligations. If they leave Korea for at least six months, they could return later
with another short-term residence permit and pursue their career. It has been widely
believed that a lot of salmon celebrities have taken advantage of the loopholes of the law;
they came to Korea, and after one year of fame and fortune, returned overseas.


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