Seungri's Request To Delay Military Enlistment Approved

Breaking down all the twists and turns in the Burning Sun case that is sweeping the K-pop establishment

By Hanan Haddad, Gwendolyn Ng 21 Mar, 2019 10:06 AMTags

Seungri of K-pop band BigBang can't seem to keep out of trouble.

His boss Yang Hyun Suk, founder of YG Entertainment, knows it too. The media mogul once called Seungri into his office, even though Seungri had done nothing wrong then.

"But I think you will do something wrong in the future. That's why I called you in," said Seungri, who was mimicking his boss on a variety show.

Seungri's boss was spot on. In 2012, blurry photos of Seungri in bed with a woman were splashed all over a Japanese tabloid. In 2014, the singer crashed his Porsche into a Mercedes-Benz.

Just as Seungri is set to enlist later in 2019, he's in hot water again. This time, it's to do with sex, drugs and violence.

E! unpegs the Burning Sun scandal.

January 28: Staff at the Burning Sun nightclub is accused of assault. CCTV footage of the incident was aired on a television news programme. The clip was also circulated online.

Seungri is embroiled as he was in charge of the club's public relations. He has reportedly resigned from the position.

According to the assault victim Mr Kim, he had asked security to help a female clubber who was sexually harassed. Instead, Mr Kim was beaten up by the club's staff and manhandled by police called to the nightclub. 

January 30: The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announced that they will be investigating Burning Sun's alleged illicit activities, from bribing the police to peddling drugs to customers. The most shocking allegation: staff are suspected of providing VIP clients with drugged female clubbers to rape.

February 2: Seungri uploaded an apology onto his official Instagram.

"I apologise to all those who have been unhappy or worried about recent events and controversies related to me," he said in the post. Seungri claimed that he was not at the nightclub at the time of the assault, and he was shocked to watch the violence caught on the video.

On reports on drug abuse and violence at the club, he said. "In this regard, I have never seen or heard about it myself. I will cooperate with the investigation."

February 17: Burning Sun reportedly shuts down.

VCG/VCG via Getty Images

February 26: Seungri is accused of hooking up VIP clients with prostitutes at nightclubs.

The shocking allegations are revealed by a South Korean news outlet which disclosed a Kakao Talk exchange between Seungri and three other parties.

In the chat which took place in 2015, it appears as if Seungri is arranging female escorts to serve potential investors for his businesses. In a text allegedly sent by Seungri, it said: "Pick the ones who'll sleep with them without a fuss."

Seungri denied the allegations and said the text messages are fabricated.

February 27: Seungri arrived at the police station at 9 pm, and is only released the next day. Police are likely to be questioning him over drug use and sex-for-favour allegations. The singer's urine and hair samples are also tested for drugs.

February 28: Seungri cancels the remaining stops for his solo tour in Japan and Indonesia.

On the same day, South Korean news outlet Dispatch delivered another blow. It's a low-down on Seungri's birthday bash on Palawan island in December 2017

Dispatch describes the massive party as a trial run for Burning Sun. The nightclub opened two months after the party. The club's major investors were also present at the massive gathering in the Philippines.

Sounding like a scene straight out of the Crazy Rich Asians movie, Seungri reportedly rented out an entire resort for the two-day rave. The generous dude even covered all 150 guests' flights and accommodation. There was champagne, DJ, and of course, beautiful women.

In the exposé, a club hostess interviewed said that her regular customer Seungri invited her to the all-expense paid trip. But Seungri had one condition, she had to bring along her pretty friends.

March 1: Reporter, Kang Kyeong Yoon came forward with evidence of Seungri in a Kakaotalk group chat with 'Singer C' and Mr Yu, owner of Yuri Holdings back then before Seungri became CEO. 

The chat was from April 2016 and revealed that Seungri was in cahoots with Mr Yu to get high paying clients prostitutes to service them. "Good. How about girls? Pick the ones that'll sleep with them without a fuss." he said, after which Mr Yu replied, "I'm preparing the prostitutes, so when the two of them come, Kim, you take care of them and get them to hotel rooms. Two is enough, right?"

The Kakaotalk chat garnered public outrage due to the crass language and illegal acts that the k-pop idol was doing. 

Seungri made a statement that the Kakaotalk screenshot circulating is completely fabricated and false. 

While Kang Kyeong Yoon denies that the evidence is fake, she did admit that some parts were left out and some messages were deleted due to "inappropriate expressions". 

The edits have shaken the validity of the piece of evidence as the reporter could not provide the original source material. The reporter claimed that while some rude language was taken out, the content of the chat still holds true. She said, "If I had fabricated it, I would have much more to lose (than win). I would lose everything. And this is the truth."

Nevertheless, the controversial piece of evidence has been submitted to The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) for further investigation. The reason being the Kakaotalk conversation involved some police officers, indicating possible corruption. 

March 4: Rumours that YG Entertainment is destroying evidence started spreading like wildfire. Two massive dump trucks were spotted at the YG Entertainment building on February 28 and witnesses claimed that they allegedly saw massive amounts of shredded documents being dumped in the trucks. 

YG Entertainment's CEO, Yang Hyun Suk responded to the accusation with the following statement, "I think the wrong information has been circulated. I had to check it out because I was curious.  It is a procedure that is conducted every 3 months (quarterly) every year.  Normally, employees are notified about it ten days before.  I hope this helps clear the wrong information being circulated." 

Regardless of the CEO's statement, the timing of the "scheduled cleanup" was so perfect that it definitely raised some eyebrows. Some members of the public expressed that the documents YG Entertainment was throwing out should be investigated as well. 

March 9: Online petitions to have Seungri permanently removed from Big Bang have circulated the Internet. The petition was created by fans of Big Bang on 'DC Gallery' (a popular South Korean Internet forum) and stated the following reasons to have Seungri kicked out of Big Bang:

1. Seungri's lavish "birthday party" at Palawan Island in the Philippines, where potential investors and foreign celebrities were present. There are allegations involving prostitution during this party as well.

2. Commanding sexual escort services for business investors of Seungri's company, "Yuri Holdings", as seen in the Kakaotalk group chats that have surfaced.

3. Alleged tax evasion as Seungri's club 'Burning Sun' was officially registered as a restaurant rather than a night club, so as to evade large sums of taxes. This went hand in hand with the reported scandals that plagued the Burning Sun club, which included prostitution, drug-trafficking and more. 

Netizens showed support for this petition and the forum has been flooded with comments that Big Bang should disband and "let Taeyang go". According to netizens, every member, except Taeyang has been involved in too many scandals. They cited G-Dragon and T.O.P's drug accusations and Daesung's car accident in 2011 that resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.  

March 10: Gangnam club, ARENA, was seized by the police for further investigation on Seungri's alleged prostitution accusations. A group of 20 police officers from the Seoul District Precinct was sent to gather evidence at ARENA after looking through the Kakaotalk group chat that was previously mentioned. 

In the Kakaotalk chat, it was implied that Seungri and CEO of Yuri Holdings were hiring prostitutes at ARENA to lobby foreign business investors. According to news outlet SBS funE, Seungri has texted one of his employees in the group chat to "prepare a spot in the main area of Club Arena and call the girls for foreign investor B". 

After searching the club, Seungri, along with a few other people in the Kakaotalk group chat has been booked on charges of violating the law on the punishment of prostitution mediation and other related actions. 


"We booked Seungri and changed his status to that of a suspect in order to issue a search and seizure warrant and clear [Seungri] of the suspicions [surrounding him]." a representative police officer stated in a press conference. Hence, Seungri is now officially being investigated as a suspect in his prostitution scandal. 

The police have revealed that Seungri was not the only celebrity in the Kakaotalk group chat. They have discovered more celebrities in the chatroom with Seungri and these celebs will be investigated as well. Though no specific names were dropped, the police said that they will continue to get to the bottom of the scandal, which might implicate more than one celebrity in future. 

Seungri's military enlistment has been pushed back from 25 March, due to him being a suspect of the ongoing investigation.  

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

March 14: Seungri was called in for another official police interrogation. At 2pm KST, he arrived at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and was greeted by a sea of reporters, asking the ex-idol for a statement. In a somber and serious tone, Seungri made the following statement, "I would like to apologise to the people of Korea, and to the people that have been hurt through this case. More than what I can say now, I will participate in the investigations truthfully." He then proceeded into the police station without answering any questions from the press. 

Seungri had a gruelling interrogation session that lasted overnight, only appearing the next day, looking rather tired and haggard. 

It has been reported by various South Korean news outlets that ex-Big Bang member Seungri refuses to hand over his phone to the police for the investigation. This caused major outrage among netizens who openly criticised Seungri for going back on his word to fully cooperate with the police. However, upon exiting the station, a reporter asked if he had submitted his phone to the police and Seungri replied saying that he did. 

No confirmation has been given on whether or not Seungri's phone is in police custody at this point.

Upon exiting the police station, Seungri made the following statement, "I have faithfully completed my investigation. From today, I plan to officially make a request to the Military Manpower Administration for a delay to my military enlistment. If I receive permission, I will delay my enlistment date and faithfully participate in the investigations until the end."

Sex & Secret Group Chats: Seungri and Jung Joon-Young Are in Hot Water
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Jung Joon-Young was also called into questioning that very same day. He arrived at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency at 10am and had a 22-hour long interrogation session with the police. When asked if he had surrendered the "golden phone" that was in question, Joon-Young replied, "I have faithfully and truthfully cooperated with the investigation and have submitted the "golden phone" as is. I apologize for causing a stir."

Despite saying that, several news outlets have reported that the phone he submitted was one that was only 2 weeks old. Joon-Young allegedly claimed that he had switched his phone 2 weeks ago and proceeded to turn in the aforementioned phone. The police has yet to confirm is the phone submitted for investigation is in fact the "golden phone". 


20 March: Seungri's request to delay his military enlistment has been approved by the Military Manpower Administration. In a statement from the government agency, translated by Koreaboo, the Military Manpower Administration decided to postpone Seungri's enlistment date to 25 June, due to the "investigation agencies [who] requested a postponement of his enlistment date to the Military Manpower Administration in order to be able to thoroughly and consistently investigate the applicant."

The Military Manpower Administration also stated that it would be pushing for a revision in the current enlistment laws, "so that mandatory military enlistment can be postponed under the authority of the Military Manpower Administration if someone is trying to enlist in the military to escape the public eye after causing a social controversy, or if there is a request from the head of an investigation agency due to an important investigation."

On 25 June, the government agency will re-assess the situation, and extend Seungri's enlistment date if investigations against him are still on going.

This story is developing. Stay tuned for more updates.