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    Mr. Yi purchased the Tea Tree Asian Bistro in January.

Local man unable to return home from South Korea

A Perrysburg resident is being held in South Korea due to an obscure Korean law.

Tong Yi, who goes by Don, is stuck in Seoul due to a travel ban placed on him by the Korean government.

The Perrysburg restaurant owner was told the ban is a consequence of his failing to report for mandatory military service in the Korean army. This is despite Mr. Yi becoming a U.S. resident in 2011 and serving in the U.S. Army for eight years, completing two tours in Afghanistan.

“I was told the travel ban will remain in effect until March 2,” Mr. Yi wrote in a Facebook post on February 8. “Even the Korean police told me it was an obscure law that not even most Koreans know about.”

South Korea enforces conscription which requires all males to serve in its military for two years. According to the U.S. embassy and consulate in Korea, “Males with multiple citizenships must choose their nationality by March 31 of the year they turn 18. Those who fail to do so are subject to military service obligations.”

 

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