CNBLUE’s Yonghwa & 5 others charged with obstruction in Kyung Hee University scandal, FNCE responds

The police recently announced that the case of CNBLUE‘s Yonghwa receiving preferential treatment in graduate school admissions at Kyung Hee University has been forwarded to the prosecution. Other than him, the case involves five others, including singer Cho Kyu Man.

A total of six people have been charged with obstruction of business in the case. According to police, the head of the graduate school doctoral program in applied arts was one of the three professors who was in charge of interviews for the program’s admissions process, and he went against the school’s policy of rejecting applicants who do not show up for their scheduled interviews. He is said to have given three applicants, Jung Yong Hwa, Cho Kyu Man, and the head of a small business, high scores despite not conducting interviews with them. The police announced that they have obtained statements from the other two professors who were in charge of interviews stating that the head of the program had brought interview performance evaluations that had been filled out in advance and pressured them to sign off on the documents. They stated that they had no choice but to comply as the person in question was the head of their department and was therefore in a position of power over them as he is in charge of matters such as promotions and reappointments. Jung Yong Hwa’s manager, the head of Kyunghee University’s International Campus, and the three applicants have also been charged with obstruction of business. According to the police, FNC Entertainment’s previous statement that Jong Yong Hwa had held an individual interview with the head of the department for his admissions was false as their investigations led them to come to the conclusion that the two had never met during the admissions process. The reports also stated that Cho Kyu Man had been overseas at the time of the interviews, and he had personally asked the head of the department for preferential treatment as they had an established personal relationship.

In response, FNC Entertainment have stated that the police have “misrepresentations” in their case against Yonghwa.

FNC Entertainment released an official response and said, “We believe that there are misrepresentations in the police’s report regarding Jung Yong Hwa. Jung Yong Hwa and FNC Entertainment plan to provide complete and detailed explanations to correct such misrepresentations in the coming judicial process. We would like to once more sincerely apologize for causing distress and concern.”

Yonghwa has also released a statement himself, clarifying that he did meet the professor but didn’t know there needed to be a formal interview.

“The reason I have stayed silent and not been able to speak of this issue is because the case was under investigation, and I believed that it would not be right for me to be the first to speak of a case under such circumstances. As I stated in my previous apology, I am still sincerely reflecting on my faults because I bear responsibility if the results show that rules have been violated. However, I wish to speak on the many misunderstandings that exist around this case. The case pertains to [Kyunghee University’s] admissions process for the graduate school doctoral program in applied arts (practical music). My understanding was that interviews for doctoral programs in graduate schools for the arts were conducted based on the discretion of the professors as it is possible to know an applicant’s past activities and talents through submission of materials such as a portfolio. Before entering the graduate program, I met with the professor in a recording studio and played for him the songs I was working on, as well as the songs I have already released. I also spoke with him of my future career plans. However, failing to check the application guidelines based on my understanding that interviews were conducted on the professor’s discretion was my fault, and I am reflecting on my conduct.”

He also stated that rumors that he only pursued his doctorate to delay military service are false.

“Also, I want it to be known that the rumors that I tried to pursue a doctoral program despite having no interest in furthering my studies so that I could delay my enlistment date are completely false. I have always been of the firm belief that as a Korean man, I have a duty to serve my country like everyone else, and I have previously spoken about enlisting in many interviews. The doctoral program that I applied to allows me to study jazz music in depth and ties directly to my specialty in practical music. I applied to the program because I wished to learn more about the field I specialize in as a singer who writes and performs music. Furthermore, there are people who claim that I am running away to the army. I am not running away. The army can never be a shelter to run away to. I have always been of the belief that as a citizen of Korea, it is my duty to serve my country to the fullest. I believed that enlisting now was the right thing to do so I could take more time to reflect upon my actions. To be honest, I do not think that finding the person to blame is what’s important. Instead, I will be focused on unequivocally apologizing for my faults, sincerely reflecting on my actions, and doing my best so that such a mistake does not happen again. And I wish to apologize to fellow celebrities who have been affected by my actions. I will fully cooperate with the remaining prosecutorial investigation, and I will do my best to right the misrepresentations that currently exist. Once more, I would like to offer my sincere apologies. Finally, I would like to sincerely request for reporters to refrain from publishing distorted or sensational articles on matters that are untrue.”

I dunno, people will believe what they want. I just think it’s worth being skeptical that he didn’t know he needed to interview formally to get into a doctoral program, wasn’t at all thinking about trying to delay his military service, and him going to the military all of a sudden is out of patriotic duty to reflect. The police actually following through with charges in connection with this certainly isn’t helping any.

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