The Korea Herald


Opposition lawmakers allege celebrity drug scandals are part of government coverup

G-Dragon, Lee Sun-kyun banned from leaving the country over alleged drug use

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Oct. 27, 2023 - 15:15

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G-Dragon (Herald DB) G-Dragon (Herald DB)

While South Korean celebrities’ drug allegations continue to dominate headlines, the main opposition party claimed on Friday that the ongoing investigation into such drug scandals may have been premeditated to divert public attention from current political issues that are unfavorable to the ruling party and the government.

In a radio interview with the news channel YTN on Thursday, Rep. An Min-suk of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea said a series of drug scandals involving big-name artists went viral at a time when the conservative government is facing a crisis.

He also was referring to high-profile personalities who were booked by the police for alleged illicit drug use, including Kwon Ji-yong -- more widely known as G-Dragon of Big Bang -- and actor Lee Sun-kyun.

“(There’s a saying) that politics is in the art of timing. … Someone could have planned it (celebrities’ drug news) intentionally. Now is the time that can create such misunderstandings. It’s up to the people to believe it or not,” Rep. An said.

Last week, Lee Kyung, the deputy spokesperson of the Democratic Party, also alleged that there was an intentional effort to divert public attention from the government, labeling the situation as “strange.”

“The daughter of Kim Seung-hee, secretary to the president for protocol, is a school violence perpetrator who caused nine weeks of injury (to the victim). President Yoon Suk Yeol has been dealing with a blow after (his party lost) the Gangseo Ward chief by-election. But these are being hushed up by Lee Sun-kyun’s illegal drug use,” the post read.

Actor Lee Sun-kyun (Hodu&U Entertainment) Actor Lee Sun-kyun (Hodu&U Entertainment)

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon refuted the opposition’s claim, calling it “baseless.”

When asked by Rep. Cho Su-jin of the ruling People Power Party about Rep. An’s claims during the parliamentary audit of the National Assembly’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Han said that “drugs have nothing to do with politics.”

Meanwhile, G-Dragon on Friday denied all drug use allegations, vowing that he would sincerely cooperate with the probe.

“Firstly, I’ve never taken drugs. I also want to make it clear that I have nothing to do with recent news reports (that I’ve breached) the Narcotics Control Act,” the singer-songwriter said in a statement distributed through his lawyer.

“But as many people are concerned, I will actively and sincerely cooperate with the investigation,” the statement further read.

Amid an expanding probe, the drug crime investigation division at the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency said Friday they have banned Lee and Kwon from leaving the country over their alleged drug use.