Father of EXO’s Suho to file suit against rumors

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Father of EXO’s Suho to file suit against rumors

A professor of finance and insurance at Soonchunhyang University has asked authorities to look into rumors circulating online about his family, claiming that the disseminators had disgraced him and his son, the lead singer of the popular boy band EXO.

Kim Yong-ha, 53, a member of the civic group Citizens United for a Better Society who has actively participated in the dialogue to reform the debt-ridden pension program for public servants, appointed a lawyer on Wednesday to file a defamation suit against certain Internet sites and their users. An official complaint will be sent to the prosecution on Monday.

According to Kim, posts stating that he is a pro-Japan scholar recently started to pop up on a few websites. Starting Tuesday, more posts were uploaded that described Kim’s son, Jun-myeon, as the offspring of a pro-Japan collaborator.

The 23-year-old, better known by his stage name Suho, is the lead singer of the Korean-Chinese K-pop group EXO, which debuted in 2011.

Kim said the posts were malicious, with the intent to disgrace him and his son. “Citizens United for Better Society is a center-conservative civic group, but they have decided to call it a pro-Japanese organization,” Kim said. “Just because I am an operation committee member of that civic group, they have labeled me as a pro-Japan collaborator. I am not a pro-Japan collaborator and I have never done anything to deserve that label.”

“My hometown is Munsu-myeon, Yeongju City, in North Gyeongsang, and our family has been farmers for generations,” he added. “Even during the Japanese colonial period, our family didn’t do anything that was deemed a pro-Japan activity.”

Kim said that his son, who is currently in Japan for a concert, had telephoned him and asked about the posts, which have quickly spread in cyberspace. “They said you are a pro-Japan collaborator. Is this true?” Kim quoted his son as saying, adding that he denied the accusation.

Kim alleged that those against reforming the pension program for public servants systematically spread the rumors to disgrace his honor and his celebrity son. “I will hold them accountable,” he said.

A number of Internet users jumped to Suho’s defense, saying it was wrong to spread unsubstantiated information to trigger a bias against him.

BY CHANG SE-JEONG [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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