U-Know Yunho (TVXQ) caught breaking Covid rules in illegal club: the whole story

Who is Yunho?
Unique onstage namesake
Family background and initial aspiration
Beginnings as a K-pop trainee
Formation of TVXQ
TVXQ’s hottest hits
Legal dispute with SM Entertainment: a sign of things to come?
The original TVXQ splits up
The end of the old TVXQ
TVXQ rebranded as a pop duo
Sole Asian performer at Michael Jackson’s tribute concert
Solo music career
Not made out to be an actor?
Silenced naysayers by winning acting award
Yunho accused of abandoning his husky at a dog training school
Yunho unwilling to take care of Taepoong himself?
Yunho promises to bring Taepoong back home
Yunho’s seeming indifference towards Taepoong
Yunho criticised for being an irresponsible dog owner
TVXQ’s Yunho allegedly broke social distancing rules at an illegal establishment
Fight or flee? Yunho’s friends allegedly stalled the police and fought with them on his behalf
Unexpected revelation: identity of the illegal business establishment
MBC accuses Yunho
SM Entertainment reacts to Yunho’s scandalous rumours
Yunho admits and apologises for breaking Covid-19 rules on Instagram
Vowed to not repeat mistakes
Aftermath: sponsors drop Yunho after his social-distancing scandal
TVXQ’s Yunho temporarily steps down as co-host in Mnet’s ‘Kingdom’
SM Entertainment removes Yunho from ‘Kingdom’
Bandmate Changmin to host alone
U-Know Yunho to know better
Who is Yunho?

Born on 6 February 1986, Jung Yun-ho is a South Korean singer, songwriter, actor and one half of pop duo TVXQ. He is the leader of TVXQ and is more popularly known by his stage name ‘U-Know Yunho’.

Unique onstage namesake

The meaning behind his stage name ‘U-Know’ refers to his role as TVXQ’s leader who is knowledgeable and always seeking to understand others.

Family background and initial aspiration

Born in Gwanju, South Korea, Yunho has a younger sister. When he was younger, his dream was to become a prosecutor as most of his family members are in the legal profession.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Beginnings as a K-pop trainee

Yunho formed the dance team ‘A+’ with a few of his middle school friends. They competed in many dance competitions around the country before winning a prize at the 1st Annual SM Best Competition in 1999. He then signed with SM Entertainment and became a trainee under them in 2001.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Formation of TVXQ

Tong Vfang Xien Qi, also known as TVXQ, is a five-member South Korean boy band formed in 2003 by SM Entertainment. The group comprises members U-Know Yunho, Max Changmin, Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

TVXQ’s hottest hits

Some of their most popular songs include ‘Hug’, ‘Rising Sun’, ‘”O”— Jung.Ban.Hap’, and ‘Mirotic’.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Legal dispute with SM Entertainment: a sign of things to come?

In July 2009, three members of TVXQ consisting of Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment disputing the terms and conditions of their contracts with the company. The lawsuit centered around their 13-year idol contracts, unfair distribution of profit among the members, and lack of control over their schedules.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

The original TVXQ splits up

The legal battle resulted in TVXQ halting their activities in South Korea as the case was ongoing. Then in April 2010, Avex Japan -- which manages the group in Japan -- announced that Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu would be continuing their activities in a newly formed group named ‘JYJ’.

The end of the old TVXQ

Without the rest of the original group joining in, this led to the unexpected hiatus of TVXQ’s Yunho and Changmin from the entertainment industry. Many fans mourned the split as TVXQ was one of the most iconic bands in K-pop history.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

TVXQ rebranded as a pop duo

In August 2010, Yunho and Changmin made their comeback appearances in the Seoul stop of SM Town Live ’10 World Tour. The audience reacted positively to their performances as a two-piece group, prompting them to continue as a pop duo under TVXQ.

Sole Asian performer at Michael Jackson’s tribute concert

Labelled as “K-pop’s dancing king” by critics, Yunho was invited to perform at the Seoul leg of Michael Jackson’s 2010 tribute concert ‘This Is It’ as the only Asian performer.

Solo music career

Yunho began his solo music career with the Japanese extended play ‘U Know Y’ in 2015. Then in 2019, he released his first Korean album ‘True Colors’. In 2021, he made a music comeback with the follow-up extended play ‘Noir’.

K-Pop comebacks fans have been waiting for

Not made out to be an actor?

Yunho’s first foray into acting was his role as the male lead in the romantic comedy series ‘Heading to the Ground’ in 2009. Unfortunately the series did not perform well, and he received flak for his poor acting skills.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Silenced naysayers by winning acting award

Undeterred by the poor reception of his acting, Yunho worked hard and won the 2013 People’s Choice award at the Seoul International Drama Awards for his portrayal of a rich heir in ‘King of Ambition’.

Yunho accused of abandoning his husky at a dog training school

According to Koreaboo, Yunho was accused of abandoning his husky, Taepoong, at a dog training school. The report cited a recent post from an online forum that claimed that Yunho supposedly abandoned his dog barely a year after receiving it as a birthday gift from ex-TVXQ member Jaejoong in 2008.

Yunho unwilling to take care of Taepoong himself?

According to Koreaboo, Yunho stated in his 2011 interview with Vogue Japan that he had not seen Taepoong in a year and that the dog was now a leader at the training school.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Yunho promises to bring Taepoong back home

On Mnet’s ‘Beatles Code 2’ in 2012, host Taek Jae Hoon made a joke insinuating that Yunho sending Taepoong to training school was akin to having abandoned the dog. Yunho refuted those claims and promised that he would bring Taepoong back when he gets a house with a yard.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Yunho’s seeming indifference towards Taepoong

Yunho’s last update on Taepoong was at his 2015 Japan fan meeting where he mentioned that the dog had “gone far away”. His vague comments invited a lot of criticism from the public as people speculated that Taepoong had either passed away or was now under the care of a new owner.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Yunho criticised for being an irresponsible dog owner

Due to Yunho’s lack of updates on Taepoong and his seemingly uncaring attitude towards the husky, many members of the public perceived him to be an irresponsible dog owner. As such, Yunho’s image and reputation as an morally upright idol took a hit.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

TVXQ’s Yunho allegedly broke social distancing rules at an illegal establishment

According to MEA Worldwide, TVXQ’s Yunho was suspected of attempting to flee from police in February after breaking social distancing rules at an illegal business establishment that fronted as a restaurant in Gangnam. The report stated that police identified Yunho at the restaurant at 12AM KST when Covid-19 rules specified that restaurants were only allowed to be open until 10PM.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Fight or flee? Yunho’s friends allegedly stalled the police and fought with them on his behalf

According to MEA Worldwide, Yunho’s friends allegedly got into a scuffle with the police in a bid to give him some time to escape. It was speculated that they committed the rash act out of Yunho’s interests and behalf. However, the police are now considering pressing charges against them for the obstruction of justice.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Unexpected revelation: identity of the illegal business establishment

Upon further investigation, South China Morning Post reported that the illegal business establishment was revealed to be an unregistered members-only escort bar.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

MBC accuses Yunho

According to Koreaboo, MBC claimed that Yunho allegedly fled from the police and sought the company of female staff there.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

SM Entertainment reacts to Yunho’s scandalous rumours

In response, SM Entertainment acknowledged that Yunho flouted social distancing rules but clarified that Yunho did not run from the police nor did he drink with or seek out the services of escorts in the establishment, Koreaboo reports.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Yunho admits and apologises for breaking Covid-19 rules on Instagram

According to Soompi, Yunho uploaded an apology post on his Instagram after news of his scandal came out. In his post, he apologised to the public and healthcare workers for not following Covid-19 regulations.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Vowed to not repeat mistakes

Reflecting on his mistakes, Yunho vowed to closely follow Covid-19 social distancing rules in an Instagram post.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Aftermath: sponsors drop Yunho after his social-distancing scandal

According to Korea Times, Yunho’s sponsors were quick to drop him as their ambassador after he allegedly broke social distancing rules at an illegal adult establishment. Sponsors such as food delivery app Yogiyo and food manufacturing company Ottogi removed all traces of Yunho from their platforms.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

TVXQ’s Yunho temporarily steps down as co-host in Mnet’s ‘Kingdom’

According to Korea Times, Yunho was slated to be a co-host on Mnet’s show ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ together with Changmin. However, he may be permanently removed from the show after his social distancing scandal in March.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

SM Entertainment removes Yunho from ‘Kingdom’

Korea Times reported that SM Entertainment has withdrawn Yunho from participating in any more media activities in the interim, and an agreement was reached with MBC that he would not be participating in ‘Kingdom’ until his police investigation is over.

(Image: SM Entertainment)

Bandmate Changmin to host alone

As a result of Yunho’s actions, TVXQ’s Changmin will be the only host for ‘Kingdom’ until further notice.

U-Know Yunho to know better

It is ironic that despite being ‘U-Know’, Yunho knowingly broke Covid-19 social distancing rules in addition to having allegedly abandoned his dog, Taepoong. This shows that perhaps he does not know it all after all, and still has much to learn.

(Image: SM Entertainment)