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Top show host announces "semi-retirement" over tax evasion allegations

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- Kang Ho-dong, one of South Korea's top comedians, said Friday that he is tentatively retiring from the entertainment world following a public uproar over tax evasion.

A local media reported on Monday that Kang, 41, was audited by the national tax agency and ordered to pay "hundreds of millions of won" in taxes for the failure to declare all of his taxable income.

"I really apologize for causing concerns and disappointment due to the tax-related uproar," Kang told a news conference. "An entertainer should give joy and happiness to TV viewers. But I cannot do that any more in this situation, so I've decided to tentatively leave the showbiz."

He did not say how long it will be before he would end what he called his "semi-retirement" from the show business.

On Monday, Kang said through his agency that he had never intended to evade taxes, claiming that there were some errors in calculating his tax deductible expenses in his income. He said he will pay the penalty taxes in full, but did not say how much.

On Wednesday, a Seoul citizen, only identified by Jun, lodged a legal complaint against him, asking the state prosecution to punish him on tax evasion charges.

Kang, a former player of traditional wrestling or ssireum, has gained high popularity as a TV show host.

 

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