Rhee Ken remains in Ukraine after team passed into Poland
Rhee Ken, a Korean YouTuber and a former Korean Navy special warfare officer who went to Ukraine last week to fight Russia, was reported to be staying near the Polish border, according to a local news outlet on Tuesday, though Rhee himself says otherwise.
Weekly Chosun reported that Rhee and his team of three other men had been in Kyiv earlier this month, but they are now trying to go to Poland due to safety concerns in Ukraine.
The report said that they are staying near the Polish border because they were denied entry by the Polish government. Experts assume that it is because he and his team had entered Ukraine without a proper visa.
Rhee, however, refuted the article claims on an Instagram post Tuesday, implying that he is remaining in Ukraine to fight.
"My teammates have safely left Ukraine, and I am here by myself now," reads the post. "There is a lot to do here."
He asked that people stop spreading fake news about him.
On March 7, Rhee and his team announced that they arrived in Ukraine despite “strong objection” from Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.
With the Level Four travel alert, the highest in the four-tier system, the Korean government has banned travel to Ukraine since the attacks began in February.
Violating the ban and entering the country may result in up to one year in prison, a fine of up to 10 million won ($8,000) or an invalidation of one's passport. In addition, the Korean law prohibits its nationals from participating in battles without government permission.
Rhee was once one of the most sought-after TV personalities after his appearance on the YouTube reality series “Fake Men” became a huge hit two years ago. But his popularity didn’t last long, as a journalist-turned-YouTuber revealed Rhee sexually harassed a woman in 2017. Rhee admitted he was found guilty but claimed he was wrongly accused.
BY LEE JIAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]