Seoul — It has been reported that TVXQ’s Yunho will receive a fine instead of being criminally charged for violating social distancing regulations at the start of the year.
Yunho was being investigated by the police back in Mar for staying at a restaurant in Gangnam until late Feb. Restaurants had to close at 10 p.m. KST based on the social distancing regulations in Seoul at the time and customers were required to leave before then.
The restaurant in question was reportedly an unauthorised adult entertainment establishment. The police forwarded the case to the prosecution in May.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office stated on Sept 2 that Yunho staying at the restaurant past the required hours was a violation of social distancing regulations that merited a fine but not criminal punishment.
The restaurant owner was indicted without detention on the charge of violating the Food Sanitation Act. The restaurant had stayed open past regulation hours and had operated as an unauthorised entertainment establishment despite being registered as a regular restaurant.
At the same time, two employees and three customers of the adult entertainment establishment were also summarily indicted on the same charge, as reported by Soompi.
The case also included two other employees and four other customers, including Yunho. The prosecution requested that the Gangnam-gu Office give the six people fines for violating the Infectious Disease Prevention Act as they had not committed a crime worth criminal punishment.
The Gangnam-gu Office will fine the six people who were criminally indicted for the same violation. Rather than fines imposed through criminal punishment, these fines are technically administrative fines for negligence.
An official from the Prosecutors’ Office clarified, “The Infectious Disease Prevention Act allows each city and region to determine which cases violate which section of the act.
The Seoul regulations for Feb 25, when the incident took place, stated that a violation of this nature would result in an administrative fine and not criminal punishment.
The social distancing regulations in Seoul now are much higher [Level 4] and violations at this current time will result in criminal punishment.”
After the news of the fine was reported, SM Entertainment released the following statement:
“This is SM Entertainment. On Sept 1, it was announced that Yunho will not be criminally charged for violating social distancing regulations in Seoul when he stayed at a restaurant with his friends past 10 p.m. in Feb. He will faithfully comply with the fine that will soon be imposed.
At the time, Yunho went because his friend had invited him, and it was his first time in the establishment in question. After the violation was caught, he actively participated in the police investigation that took place.
Since then, Yunho has reflected deeply on his careless actions that caused his fans and many other people concern during a time when everyone is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even now, he is still deeply repentant and regrets his carelessness. Once again, we apologize for having caused so many people concern.”
On social media, Yunho posted the following statement:
“Hello, this is Jung Yunho. First, I sincerely apologize once again to all the people that I disappointed through this incident.
As someone who has received so much love from the public, I apologize once again for not abiding by the proper regulations when I met with my friends past 10 p.m. in Feb. I am also deeply apologetic for having caused so many people to worry because I was careless and did not carefully inspect the establishment that I had entered.
At the time, a friend contacted me because they wanted my advice on a problem. I only heard that it was a place where we could talk quietly and went along without any particular awareness. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my shame and repentance, and I am still reflecting now.
I will be more careful and strict with myself so that this kind of incident does not occur again. Once again, I am sincerely sorry for causing people concern through my carelessness.” /TISG
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