The K-Drama “Moving,” based on a webtoon, has gained a lot of attention since its premiere in August 2023. However, some Koreans are choosing not to watch the series because of actress Han Hyo Joo.
Amid the series’ success, Koreans are revisiting the controversies surrounding the actress, including one involving her younger brother, Han Ji Hoon.
Back in June 2014, it was reported that Han Ji Hoon, while serving his military duty in the South Korean Air Force as a First Lieutenant, was involved in bullying that led to the death of Private First Class Kim Ji Hoon.
Private Kim, an aspiring economist at Korea University, joined the Air Force in February 2013 and served as part of the 15th Special Missions Wing. Unfortunately, he faced physical and mental harassment from his senior aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Han.
On June 28, 2013, Private Kim was diagnosed with a dissociative identity disorder and scheduled for treatment at the Armed Forces Capital Hospital on July 3, 2013.
However, between the diagnosis and the hospital visit, Private Kim endured more aggressive behavior from Lieutenant Han.
On June 30, 2013, Private Kim was made to iron a uniform, which caused him to miss an important call. As a result, he was subjected to physical punishment.
Tragically, Private Kim died by suicide on July 1, 2013, following relentless bullying from Lieutenant Han, which was further worsened by the stress of his condition.
The investigation into Private Kim‘s death revealed that Lieutenant Han was a notorious bully who piled excessive work on Private Kim and punished him for not completing it. Private Kim‘s dissociative identity disorder was attributed to the stress he endured.
Private Kim‘s family was kept in the dark about his death for three weeks, and when they were finally informed on July 23, 2013, the Air Force promised to treat his death as “line of duty.” However, it was later classified as “general,” raising suspicions about the fairness of the investigation.
In May 2014, Korea University’s Department of Economy informed the public about Private Kim‘s death, revealing that Lieutenant Han, responsible for the tragedy, was actress Han Hyo Joo‘s younger brother. This connection raised questions about the impartiality of the investigation.
In August 2014, after facing significant backlash, the Air Force acknowledged Private Kim‘s death as “line of duty,” allowing him to be buried in the Seoul National Cemetery.
In September 2014, the Military Court of Korea gave Lieutenant Han a suspension of indictment, citing his young age and lack of malicious intent.
In November 2014, the Air Force Disciplinary Committee imposed a two-month pay cut on Lieutenant Han, and despite the efforts of Private Kim‘s family to appeal these decisions, the case officially closed in December 2014. Lieutenant Han subsequently worked as a civil service officer.
Actress Han Hyo Joo faced intense criticism due to her family’s Air Force background and her past role as the Air Force Ambassador. Some accused her of attempting to manipulate the press to cover up her brother’s case.
The ongoing debate over the actress and her brother’s past continues, with some Koreans believing she is unfairly targeted, while others think she should take a clearer stance and address the accusations.