Korean PGA Tour golfer Bae Sang-moon will take legal action after the government here denied him an extension of his overseas travel and forced him to face conscription, his family said Thursday.
Si Ok-hee, mother of the two-time PGA Tour winner, said Bae has hired an attorney to take the necessary legal steps after the Military Manpower Administration refused to extend his overseas travel permit last month.
Bae’s permit expired at the end of last year and he must return home within 30 days of the expiration date or face criminal charges. However, the 28-year-old can stay overseas while an administrative lawsuit is under way.
Si insisted that Bae is trying to merely delay his conscription in order to keep playing on the PGA Tour, and that he isn’t seeking to dodge the military service.
All able-bodied South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 must serve in the armed forces for about two years.
The country remains technically at war with North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Under the conscription laws, men between 25 and 35 who have not yet completed their compulsory service require a special permit to stay overseas.
Bae, who made his PGA Tour debut in 2012, earned his permanent U.S. residency in January 2013. In an interview with Golfweek.com published earlier in the day, he said he felt the status would be enough to put off conscription.
“I got the green card (to work in the U.S.),” Bae was quoted as saying.
He’s scheduled to play at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii this week. (Yonhap)