Consequences await even when you act with good intentions—
This was the case for former Navy Seal, Ken Rhee, who will be investigated by the law enforcement in South Korea for volunteering to join Ukraine in their fight against the Russian troops.
Travelled Back to Korea for Recovery and Treatment
According to Reuters, 37-year-old Rhee, also known as Rhee Keun, returned to Korea on the morning of 27 May.
His return and arrival at Incheon International Airport in Seoul was broadcast live on television.
Rhee had sustained cruciate ligament injuries in his knees during an infiltration operation when he volunteered for the foreign legion in Ukraine.
Investigations Awaiting Rhee in South Korea
Aside from the press, the police force was also present for Rhee’s arrival. A total of ten policemen were present at the airport.
When Rhee arrived, he was able to walk on his own with a slight limp, and occasionally he was aided by companions when walking about.
According to Yonhap News, the police plan to investigate Rhee for passport violation charges as he travelled to Ukraine despite South Korea’s travel ban for their citizens to Ukraine.
The ban kicked in on 13 February but Rhee had managed to find his way into Ukraine during the start of March.
Since then, South Korea’s foreign ministry later filed a police complaint against Rhee for violating the Passport Act.
Travel Ban for Rhee by South Korea
Despite his injuries and police investigations, Rhee expressed his desire to go back to Ukraine and continue the fight.
However, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has applied for an overseas travel ban for Rhee and put him on the no-fly list.
Prior to Rhee’s return to South Korea, Ukraine did offer him citizenship and land ownership for contributing to the foreign legion.
But Rhee declined their offer because he doesn’t think it’s right to take citizenship to avoid a fine or trial.
Currently, South Koreans who travel to Ukraine without authorisation could be jailed for up to a year and fined up to 10 million won (that’s about SGD$11,000).
Those found guilty are also required to surrender their passports.
Background of Rhee
Rhee first rose to prominence as a trainer that starred in the YouTube military series titled “Fake Men”.
In the series, Rhee starred as a trainer who trained celebrity contestants to complete corporeal training designed to train the navy’s elite forces.
Since Rhee’s arrival in Ukraine, he’s provided updates of his time there on his Instagram page.
Illegal for Singaporeans to Join Ukraine Foreign Legion
In Singapore, it’s also an offence for Singaporeans to travel to Ukraine to fight in the ongoing war.
During early March, the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified this as they are aware that the Embassy of Ukraine in Singapore had received calls from people expressing interest to join the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine.
Under the law, Singaporeans who try to do so can be imprisoned for life, or up to 15 years, or punished with a fine.
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