K-pop sensation Super Junior’s Siwon has been caught up in a controversy between Korea and Japan after expressing his stance on Dokdo islets.
Siwon, known to be one of the most influential celebrities online, showed his support toward South Korea’s sovereignty over Dokdo islets by retweeting the Blue House’s post to over 2.5 million people following him on Twitter on August 10.
The original post written on the official Twitter account of the Blue House read, “Dokdo is undoubtedly South Korea’s land, where we should sacrifice our lives to. With pride, let’s protect our land. -In Dokdo, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on August 10. This is the time that our land Dokdo met the president of South Korea for the first time.”
Tension has been building up between South Korea and Japan since President Lee Myung-bak made his trip to the easternmost islets, which the Japanese government has been claiming its sovereignty over for decades, on Aug. 10.
Meanwhile, some Korean celebrities have found themselves in a dilemma after expressing, or not expressing, their political stance on the disputed islets.
Japan’s Vice Vice Foreign Minister Yamaguchi Tsuyoshi said on a Japanese TV program last Friday that he will ban actor Song Il-kook from visiting Japan as the actor took part in a 220-kilometer relay swim from the peninsula to Dokdo on Liberation Day, which marks the 67th anniversary of the end of Japan’s colonial rule in 1945.
KARA, on the other hand, has been receiving mounting criticism on Korean portal websites for not making clear of their political view as they dodged a question from a local reporter at the group’s new album showcase held in Seoul on August 22, asking what they think about the territorial spat over the islets.
While concerns over Choi and Super Junior’s future activities in Japan are increasing due to previous examples of other stars, the idol singer and his agency SM Entertainment have not yet shown any response to the sparking controversy online.
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Monica Suk 기자 monicasuk@