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ken rhee

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Ken Rhee, facing prosecution for going to Ukraine to fight: It would be ‘a crime not to help’

  • Former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee claims he has no regrets fighting in Ukraine and says it would have been a “crime” not to use his military experience to help.
  • In an interview with AFP, Rhee compared his decision to saving a drowning person to illustrate why he felt it was his moral duty to serve despite South Korea’s travel ban on Ukraine.
  • "You're walking down the beach and you see a sign by the water saying 'no swimming' -- but you see someone drowning. It's a crime not to help. That's how I see it," the 38-year-old serviceman said.
  • Rhee initially announced on March 6 that he and his hand-selected team of special forces had “informally” left South Korea for Ukraine.
  • Rhee was aware that he could return home to prison time and a fine of 10 million won ($8,115) for entering a travel-banned country, but says he was ready to face the consequences and openly criticized the South Korean government for withholding support.

South Korean ex-Navy SEAL-turned YouTuber Ken Rhee claims he has no regrets fighting in Ukraine and says it would have been a “crime” not to use his military experience to help.

In an interview with AFP, Rhee compared fighting in Ukraine to saving a drowning person to illustrate why he felt it was his moral duty to serve despite the fact that the South Korean government had made it illegal to travel to Ukraine.

Korean former Navy SEAL Ken Rhee shares video of tense Ukraine mission evacuating wounded soldier

  • Korean ex-Navy SEAL Lieutenant Ken Rhee shared footage on YouTube showing him and other members of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion trying to evacuate a wounded soldier after a reconnaissance mission.
  • The video clip, taken sometime in April, ends with the soldiers abandoning their vehicle due to a flat tire.
  • “These are not a type of offensive operation, but we just go out to scout specific areas,” Rhee tells musician Solnamoo Song in the interview at the end of the video.
  • Rhee, who went to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion, returned to South Korea on May 27 due to his injuries.
  • The YouTuber-turned-Ukrainian soldier was sent to prosecution without detainment on June 15 by the International Crime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for traveling to Ukraine during a travel ban.
  • He now faces up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won (approximately $7,730) for violating the local passport law.

YouTuber-turned-Ukrainian soldier Ken Rhee recently shared footage of him and other members of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion in a tense moment inside a vehicle while trying to evade Russian forces. 

The Korean ex-Navy SEAL lieutenant, who went to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion, uploaded a video to his YouTube channel Friday showing him and his team trying to evacuate a wounded soldier after a reconnaissance mission. 

Korean YouTuber-turned-Ukraine fighter Rhee Ken under prosecution for violating passport law

Korean navy seal
  • Korean special forces officer-turned-YouTuber Ken Rhee is now under prosecution for passport law violation after traveling to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Rhee of violating the passport law as he disregarded a travel ban the Korean government imposed on Ukraine on Feb. 13.
  • Rhee, who returned to South Korea on May 27, said he voluntarily faced police questioning on June 10 and admitted to most of the charges.
  • “I saw what was going on and I said, ‘OK, this can't happen. I wish there was something I could do to help,’” he was quoted as saying. “I'm sure there are many ways to help the war effort [while staying in Korea]. But I was a military officer and I wanted to help in the best capacity that I could.”
  • Rhee now faces up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won (approximately $7,730). He is hoping endorsements from Ukrainian authorities will help his case.

YouTuber Rhee Ken, the former Korean Navy special forces officer who went to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion, is now under prosecution for passport law violation.

Rhee, who previously served as a lieutenant in the Korean Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Flotilla, was sent to prosecution without detainment on June 15 by the International Crime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.