The Korea Herald


Singer Kangnam becomes South Korean citizen

By Lee Si-jin

Published : Feb. 28, 2022 - 14:53

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Kangnam (Screen capture from Kangnam’s Instagram) Kangnam (Screen capture from Kangnam’s Instagram)
Japanese Korean singer and TV celebrity Kangnam, 34, has become a naturalized Korean citizen, he announced in a live broadcast on YouTube.

In the live broadcast on Saturday, Kangnam said he completed his final naturalization interview on Friday, and opened the letter notifying him that he had passed the exam, live on camera.

This was the singer’s third attempt at the naturalization exam, after declaring he intended to give up his Japanese citizenship in 2019.

In the video, the singer also shared his thoughts about changing his Japanese name Yasuo Namekawa to a Korean name. He is considering two options -- following his mother’s family name Kwon or his wife’s family name Lee.

Kangnam, who was born to a Japanese father and a Korean mother, had been applying for a South Korean citizenship after his marriage to former Korean star speedskater Lee Sang-hwa in 2019.

Having debuted as a member of South Korean hip-hop quartet M.I.B in 2011, Kangnam rose to fame in several TV variety shows, including SBS’ “Law of the Jungle,” MBC’s “I Live Alone” and JTBC’s “Welcome Back to School.”