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Korean Wave Stars Under Threat

Posted February. 07, 2007 07:05,   


On April 13, 2006, well-known celebrity Kwon Sang-woo, who is also a Korean wave star, received a phone call. The call was from one of the three former major gang bosses of Korea, Kim Tae-chon. Kwon hung up on Kim but he got another call. This time a close friend of Kwon answered the phone and Kim started to threaten Kwon’s friend. Kim said, “I know where Kwon lives. If you don’t allow me to meet Kwon, I will make his life miserable.”

A day after the threat, Kim called Kwon again.

Kim: “Hey, Kwon, This is Kim Tae-chon. I told you that I wanted to see you some time.”

Kwon: “Why do you want to see me?”

Kim: “I told your friend that I would make your life miserable if you do not see me. Didn’t your friend mention that?”

Kwon: “You should tell me the reason for seeing me first.”

Kim: “You already know who I am. Do you really think that I have to tell you the reason? Don’t you have any time?”

Kim called Kwon because Kwon did not have a fan meeting party he had planned in Japan. Kim got a call about the missed party from a Japanese friend, only identified as N. Kim called Kwon to push him to go to another of his parties in Japan. Kim said, “My friend N said that he will file a lawsuit against you. Do you really think that it will be okay for you to make headlines for fraud? If you don’t see me, I will do anything I want to do.”

Kwon recorded the phone call from Kim and asked for an investigation in May 2006.

A person named Paik also threatened Kwon. Paik worked as Kwon’s manager from May 2003 to 2005. Paik met Kwon in November 2005 and asked Kwon to hire him as his manager. As Kwon did not give him an answer, Paik said, “I will reveal one of your secrets to the public. Let’s see what happens then.”

Kwon had to sign a contract stating, “Paik will be my manager for the next several years. In case I break this contract, I will pay Paik one billion won.” The prosecution said that Paik told Kwon that he has a major gang behind him.

The Seoul Public Prosecutors’ Office indicted Kim and Paik for attempted extortion on February 6, 2007. Kim was arrested for bribing a prison officer last November. However, he was sent home because of his chronic illness, angina pectoris.

The prosecution has begun an investigation to find out more about Korean wave entertainers under threat. However, the managers have not been compliant with the prosecutors.

An official from the prosecution said, “It is very difficult to carry on the investigations. It is because the victims do not give us any information because they are afraid of retaliation. Also, the important witnesses do not appear when they should. However, we will continue our investigation into gangs and Korean wave entertainers.”

However, Paik said, “The prosecution is not telling the truth and I am fighting for my innocence.”