Lee Seung-chul: I will continue efforts for peace

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 5, 2015 - 20:49
  • Updated : Jan 5, 2015 - 20:49

Ballad singer Lee Seung-chul poses at a press conference for his upcoming TV documentary, “That Day,” at the Film Forum theater in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
After being denied entry to Japan last November as a well-known “Dokdo is Korea” advocate, iconic local ballad singer Lee Seung-chul is continuing his efforts for unification and establishing the islets as Korean territory with the upcoming release of a TV documentary, “The Day.”

The documentary follows Lee’s efforts over the past 10 months with the launch of the “With-U” and “ON” campaigns. The collaborative projects seek to use music as Lee’s vessel to spark widespread awareness of the on-going political turmoil surrounding the unification of the two Koreas and territorial disputes regarding the Dokdo Islets.

As part of his campaign, the iconic local ballad singer led a project group choir that consisted of 42 North Korean youth defectors. With the issue of unification so close to their hearts, Lee took the amateur singers under his wings and recorded the emotional single, “The Day,” which was released free of charge last November.

The song was a hopeful plea for unification and freedom and was performed by the North Korean refugee choir on Dokdo on Aug. 14, the eve of Korea’s Liberation Day.

“Despite the release of the documentary, I just want to say that it is still not over,” Lee said at a news conference held at the Film Forum theater in Seoul on Monday. “I will continue to organize and participate in new campaign projects in the future. I will not stop my campaign for peace and unification until ‘the day’ comes.”

In the documentary, which will air on KBS1TV on Jan. 8 and 9, Lee admitted to first saying “no” to the suggestion of performing on Dodko, thinking it was too political and overly controversial; however, after working alongside the members of the choir, the 48-year-old entertainer admitted that his emotions changed his mind.

“I have been referred to by some as a ‘socialtainer’ (an entertainer invested in social issues),” he said. “All I can say is that at my age, I just got to the point where I wanted to use my music and my efforts for a good cause.”

After performing on Dokdo, Lee’s campaigning brought the choir to the United States, where they performed a benefit concert at the Memorial Church at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts on Aug. 29.

Along with Lee’s upcoming social TV documentary, the singer is also slated to release his newest single, “It Can Be Done,” on Jan. 12.

“I will continue my efforts for peace, for unification, for Dokdo,” he added.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)