Kang announces his 'tentative' retirement

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Kang announces his 'tentative' retirement


Kang Ho-dong, a popular entertainer who is facing allegations of tax evasion, said yesterday that he will tentatively retire from the entertainment world.

"I want to use this meeting to sincerely apologize for causing public concern with this disgraceful tax problem," Kang, a 41-year-old television host, said at a press conference he called at Seoul Garden Hotel in Mapo District, central Seoul.

Kang, a former sports star, added that he appreciated people's support and love, which he said had enabled him to become a national ssireum (traditional wrestling) champion, and the country's top M.C.

Defining an entertainer as someone who is supposed to make TV viewers smile, Kang said as his eyes welled up with tears that he is afraid to appear "brazenly" on television at this time.

"I, Kang Ho-dong, will tentatively retire from the entertainment industry from this time on," he said. "This is a conclusion that I, Kang Ho-dong, have made after thinking it over for several nights and days."

Kang was found guilty of tax evasion and late last month the National Tax Service fined him hundreds of millions of won (hundreds of thousands of dollars) folllowing a lengthy investigation.

Following the news of his tax evasion charges, netizens launched an online campaign to force him to retire.

In his defense, Kang has said that he did not intend to evade his tax payments and that his taxes weren't paid becuase of mistakes made by his tax lawyer.

Kang, who is known as "the national M.C.," has been has been featured on some of the country's most watched television shows, including KBS's "1 Night, 2 Days," MBC's "Golden Fishery" and SBS's "Star King."

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

강호동 잠정 은퇴선언…눈물 비치며 "사랑에 실망드렸다" [온라인 중앙일보]

개그맨 강호동이 9일 "연예계를 잠정 은퇴하겠다"고 밝혔다. 강호동은 이날 오후 서울 마포구 가든호텔에서 세금탈루와 관련, 비난여론이 일자 긴급기자회견을 자청해 이같이 밝혔다.

강호동은 이날 검은색 정장 차림으로 기자회견장에 들어와 준비해온 입장을 읽어내려갔다.

강호동은 "최근 불미스런 일로 심려를 끼쳐드린 점 이 자리를 빌어 다시한번 진심으로 사과드린다"고 말했다. 그러면서 "여러분의 사랑이 없었으면 지금의 강호동이 있을 수 없었다고 생각한다"며 "그런 사랑에 실망을 드렸다"고 덧붙였다.

강호동은 이어 "이 시간 이후로 잠정 연예계를 은퇴하고자 한다. 몇 날 며칠을 고민하고 내린 결론이다"며 "자숙하는 동안 초심을 잃고 오만해진 것은 아닌지 돌아보겠다"고 말했다.

강호동은 "진행중인 프로그램은 제작진과 상의를 통해 최대한 피해가 가지 않는 방향으로 협의해 정하겠다"고 덧붙였다.

강호동은 준비한 글을 읽은 뒤 큰 절을 하고 눈물을 비쳤다.

이에 앞서 강호동은 세금탈루와 관련, 온라인을 중심으로 비난여론과 함께 퇴출운동이 벌어졌다.

유혜은 리포터
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