Former South Korean Navy SEAL said it was a “crime” to turn to YouTuber, who risked leaving Seoul in prison and fighting for Ukraine, and not using his skills to support him.

Former special operations officer Ken Lee applied to the Ukrainian embassy in Seoul the moment President Volodymyr Zelensky sought global volunteers and was fighting at the forefront near Kieu by early March.

To get there, he had to break Korean law-Seoul banned its citizens from traveling to Ukraine, and was injured in the fall while leading a special operations patrol there. Lee was met at the airport by his 15 police officers back.

But a celebrity ex-soldier who has a YouTube channel with 700,000 followers and has recorded much of his experience in Ukraine with his popular Instagram account says he has no regrets.

“As you walk along the beach, you’ll see a sign on the water that says” No swimming, “but you’ll see someone drowning. It is a crime that does not help. That’s the way I’m looking, “he told AFP.

Lee was born in South Korea but grew up in the United States. He attended the Virginia Military Institute and planned to join the US Navy SEALS, but his father his –a “patriot”, he says –convinced his son his to return to South Korea to enlist.

He worked for seven years, received SEAL training in the United States and South Korea, and after performing multiple missions in the war zone between Somalia and Iraq, he founded a defense consultant.

“I have a skill set. I have experience. I participated in two different wars and went to Ukraine and knew I could help,” he said. violation”.

-Korean repulsion-

However, the reaction in South Korea, where Rhee became famous as a trainer for the popular YouTube series “FakeMen,” was quick and unforgiving.

“It was instant. Koreans just criticized me for violating the law,” Lee said.

His critics argue that the 38-year-old decision is criminally irresponsible and point out that he posted footage of the war on his YouTube and Instagram accounts as evidence of the showboat.

Lee says he’s trying to keep Flore out of reach of him. “I think it’s pretty clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are,” he said of Russia and Ukraine.

On his first day at the forefront of Irpin, he described it as “Archetypal Old West” and “chaos,” and said he had witnessed Russian war crimes.

“I saw a civilian being shot. He was driving … and they shot him through the windshield and he died in front of us,” he said.

“It’s like my evidence. There’s definitely a war crime going on. It reminded me and my teammates what we were doing and why we were there,” he said. Told.

For his military training, Lee was told to set up his own team, so he recruited other volunteers with combat experience to set up a multinational special operations group.

“I was eating a Canadian MRE. My gun was from the Czech Republic. I have a Javelin missile from the United States. I have a rocket from Germany … but There are no Koreans, “he said.

He tried to bring Korean-made night-vision goggles, but was not granted a government export license. Seoul has provided non-lethal aid to Kyiv, but Rhee said they could do more.

“Korea has state-of-the-art equipment … they are very good at making weapons,” he said.

-‘See you in Taiwan’-

Russia said earlier this month that 13 Koreans had traveled to Ukraine-including four killed. Seoul said it was trying to verify the claim.

Lee didn’t know the fate of all his teammates, but said, “Many of my friends have died.”

“I don’t want you to forget the sacrifice of your friends,” he said, adding that he intends to write a book about his team’s experience, and perhaps a script.

But first, he has to deal with the official influence of his trip. He is quietly optimistic South Korea’s new conservative government will not put him in jail.

Lee cannot leave the country until the case is resolved and is being treated for an injury. But he hopes to one day fight with his teammates. That’s why they believe.

The joke when people left the front line was, “Let’s meet in Taiwan,” he said, implying the risk of Beijing following Moscow’s leadership and invading neighboring democracy.

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