Kang Ho Dong Gets Swept Up in Land Speculation Scandal
Kang Ho Dong can’t seem to catch a break these days. After receiving a public beating for tax evasion allegations, he has found himself embroiled in yet another controversy.
Since a media source reported on September 20 that the entertainer purchased land in the Gangwon province, land speculation rumors involving Kang Ho Dong have been bubbling over. However, such accusations are leading some to voice concerns that the entertainer is becoming the target of an unfortunate witch hunt.
The Korea Tax Federation already released an official statement saying, “Kang Ho Dong did not deliberately evade his taxes,” referring to the entertainer as a “victim” and even accused the National Tax Service of leaking Kang Ho Dong’s personal information to the media. Something similar seems to be occurring with the land speculation rumors as well.
Kang Ho Dong made two payments in 2009 and 2011 for a 20,000 square meter plot of land in the Gangwon province. The land is located next to the Alpensia Resort, where the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will he held.
Those who first met Juniel at her showcase probably couldn’t believe that this singer was a rookie.
The lovely girl balanced the guitar melody she was playing with her unique vocals and succeeded in bombing it on her audience.
Her experience as the winner of the Japanese audition program Niji-Iro Supernova, the four albums she released after that, performing on the streets and performing at clubs helped her perform skillfully even though it was her debut.
A source close to Kang Ho Dong explained, “Kang Ho Dong purchased the land as an investment, not as speculation. He bought the land with a long-term plan in mind and not to profit from a short term transaction.”
Still, netizens have pegged him as a law-breaker, further fanning the flame. Of course, there are netizens who have come to his defense saying, “What’s the problem when he purchased the land with his own money? Isn’t this the same as ‘If I cheat, it’s a romance. If he cheats, it’s an affair?’”
An acquaintance of Kang Ho Dong said, “It’s like the media has marked him as a target with all of these malicious rumors, and Kang Ho Dong is going through a really difficult time as a result. He’s already having a hard time dealing with the aftermath of his tentative retirement announcement, and he is agonizing over and disconcerted by the malicious reports.”
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan
Juniel drew attention even before her debut with help from her labelmate CN Blue, but she wasn’t just a rookie that was trying to ride on the backs of her seniors.
When she was in elementary school, she dreamed of becoming a singer after watching a documentary of BoA, and in eighth grade, she signed with her agency and prepared to fulfill that dream.
Enews met with the singer to talk about how she felt about her debut and her promotions in Japan.
What does your name ‘Juniel’ mean?
‘Juni’ is my name, Jun Hee, and ‘El’ comes from the first letter ‘L’ of the word ‘love’. I believe that love is at the base of every emotion. I chose the name Juniel hoping that I would be able to sing about different emotions and feelings.
Your debut made big issues. How did the people around you react to that?
I keep getting texts and phone calls congratulating me. One friend sends me screencaps whenever I make it to the top of keyword search lists on portal sites. My parents also like that I’ve become a singer.
Your album contains many different genres. Is there any specific reason for this?
I wanted to show the different colors I hold, and that’s why I included those different genres. My voice changes with every song, and I thought that was my strength, also. There are so many things I want to try in the future.
Which genre are you the most comfortable with?
(After some thought) I can’t pick just one. I love all genres. All of the songs I wrote are about my emotions. I believe that because people have so many different emotions, if they’re limited to one they won’t be able to portray a variety as large.
Why did you debut in Japan first?
I went to study in Japan. There is an indie system in Korea, but the scale of the Japanese indie system is large and well-established. There are also many different genres of music. I went to Japan with the purpose of studying, singing live and gaining experience. Then I met a good chance to debut as a singer.
How was the Japanese indie system?
Their audio systems are great. They don’t fall behind major systems. I thought the environment in major music was harder than Korea’s, though. In Korea, once you debut in the major scene you get chances to appear in broadcasts and radio shows, but in Japan you mostly have to sing in small theaters and on the streets. I sang live in such performances in Shinjuku and Sibuya, also.
How fluent is your Japanese?
I host the Japanese radio show Tsukiichi MUSIK. It’s a radio that airs live across the nation, and four teams of DJs take turns hosting the show, one week each. I used to record the show in Japan, but this time we’ve decided to do it in Korea. I can at least read the scripts. (Laugh)
What do you think about your looks? You’re mysteriously attractive.
(Laugh) I don’t think I look bad. I’m not that pretty, either. I think I look interesting. I look exactly like my little brother, and he looks pretty interesting, too. People know he’s my brother as soon as they see him.
Your situation is being called the drama ‘You’re Beautiful’ adapted to reality. How does it feel like to be surrounded by the flower boys FT Island and CN Blue?
It’s great because they take good care of me, but when we get to the practice rooms we all use individual rooms to practice. Since we promote in different ways and at different times, we can’t ask each other to jam together [like the dramas].
Then is your ideal type Yoo Hee Yeol? What type of man do you like?
Yoo Hee Yeol sunbaenim isn’t my ideal type. He’s just the senior that I look up to and always wanted to meet.
My ideal type is a man with a great voice. I never thought the celebrities I like, such as Lee Sun Gyun, Cha Seung Won or Song Joong Ki, had anything in common, but I realized that they all have great voices.
How would you feel if someone was touched by Juniel’s songs the same way you were touched by Toy’s?
That’s my dream. Now, it’s too early for that. I need to work harder.
You’re a singer/songwriter but your debut single ‘Illa Illa’ wasn’t written by you. Do you feel any reservations about this?
I promoted four albums in Japan full of my self-written songs, and while I did, I became curious on what it would be like to promote with someone else’s song. I liked the pop-like feel of Illa Illa when I first heard it. Next time, though, I’m still going to release my own! (Laugh)
Do you plan to continue singing to your guitar? Not many singers have made big successes that way in Korea.
I saw a documentary of BoA sunbaenim sometime ago, and I thought that I want to be a singer like that. I started singing and dancing, but dancing just wasn’t for me. I lost interest because it didn’t fit me.
I concentrated on singing, and then I started to play the guitar and wrote songs. After I learned the way the chords flow, I tried writing songs myself. I have about 22 or 23 songs I’m saving up.
What is Juniel aiming to be?
I hope I’ll be thought of as ‘Korea’s best female singer/songerwriter’. I want to write a lot of masterpieces that last a long time.
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan
- Kang Ho Dong 20110921