Prosecutors sought a prison term for Seok Hyun-joon (32), a former national striker who was handed over to trial for not returning to Korea within the period of permission to stay abroad by the Military Manpower Administration.
On the 15th, the prosecution asked the judge to “sentence him to one year in prison” at the trial for the determination of Seok Hyun-joon’s alleged violation of the Military Service Act, which was held at the hearing of Kim Jae-hak, the 13th criminal of the Suwon District Court. The prosecution said, “The defendant applied for an extension of his overseas stay several times before being notified to return to Korea, and returned home only after one year from the date of notification of his return.”
In 2009, Seok Hyun-joon drew attention by making a surprise transfer to the prestigious Ajax in the Netherlands. He was also named in the national team and received attention as a next-generation striker. Afterwards, he showed ups and downs, but he continued to challenge steadily and bore fruit in Portugal. He succeeded in scoring in double digits and even joined Porto, Portugal’s most prestigious club, in 2016. Afterwards, he went to Saudi Arabia via Trabzonspor in Turkey and Troyes in France.
Seok Hyun-joon was judged for active duty, but he delayed his enlistment for a long time because of his life in Europe. At the time of the 2016 Rio Olympics, he was selected as a wild card and sought exemption from military service, but his wish was not fulfilled. He eventually had to enlist after the deadline, but he showed signs of avoiding his military service, including obtaining permanent residency in Hungary.
Seok Hyun-joon was indicted for failing to return to Korea within the designated period without justifiable reasons despite being notified by the Military Manpower Administration to return to Korea by June 3, 2019, while staying in France for overseas soccer activities. After leaving for France on November 12, 2018, he applied for an extension of his stay for the purpose of moving abroad in March 2019, but it was investigated that he was rejected and notified to return.
Seok Hyeon-jun joined the Jeonju Citizens Soccer Team of the K4 League ahead of this season. After the contract with Troyes expired, he expressed his willingness to serve in the military, saying, “As a citizen of the Republic of Korea, I had no intention of avoiding military service. I could not make an announcement because my position was organized,” and joined Jeonju in February 2023. However, he failed to register due to a trial for violating the Military Service Act, and was eventually sentenced to prison. 안전놀이터
The defense attorney said, “The defendant had unavoidable circumstances in which he had to be dragged around by the club with which he had signed a contract at the time because he was not properly aware of the domestic military service relationship. I endured it and returned to Korea after terminating the exclusive contract. There is no circumstance of evasion or evasion of military service, so please be lenient to the maximum extent permitted by the law.”
In his final statement, Seok Hyeon-jun said, “I relied entirely on the agency because of language difficulties while living abroad, and I kept informing the military of the seriousness of the problem, but I could not solve it. I was stupid and immature.” I am ashamed that I did not do it. I will fulfill my military service immediately after the verdict is pronounced.”
The sentencing hearing for Seok Hyun-joon will be held on the 1st of next month at 1:50 pm.