YouTuber Rhee Ken, a former Korean Navy SEAL lieutenant, posted that he and his team would be fighting on Ukraine’s ‘frontlines.’
On March 6, Rhee announced on his Instagram account that he and his hand-selected team of special forces had “informally” left South Korea for Ukraine.
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In a detailed caption addressed to “fellow citizens,” Rhee wrote that when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had called on the world for help, the YouTuber, who goes by the name ROKSEAL on his channel, immediately prepared for a volunteer mission. When the time came to leave, however, the Korean government strongly opposed and even threatened those trying to leave with prison time and a fine of 10 million won ($8,115.47) for entering a travel-banned country. Rhee stated he was ready to face the consequences if he made it back alive.
In a more recent post, Rhee criticized the Korean government for the lack of support:
“To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, my team arrived safely in Ukraine. Rather than waste time invalidating our passports, how about finding ways to support us instead. We will fight on the front lines.” Rhee ended his caption by stating the government had failed to send them the night vision goggles they requested, so the U.S. government is working on getting them for the team.
Not everyone applauded Rhee’s actions, however: Korean netizens accused Rhee of going to Ukraine for show and criticized him for updating his social media so frequently. Since his alleged departure from South Korea two days ago, Rhee has posted seven new updates to his Instagram account. Others were critical of Rhee for going against the South Korean government’s wishes. One of the top comments, with 245 likes, said:
“Korea’s representative????? You our nation’s representative??????”
After his retirement from the Navy, Rhee turned to YouTubing. His channel “ROKSEAL” has nearly a million subscribers, and his video posts of military drills and equipment demonstrations have garnered millions of views. On an episode of “Radio Star,” Rhee explained that he had left the military, because it was easier to implement change as an outsider. He claimed on the show that he has founded a consulting firm and lectured at various military bases since his leave.
Featured Image via ROKSEAL