After claiming he had been hospitalized for COVID-19 as an April Fool’s joke, Kim Jaejoong was heavily criticized by the public. The Central Defense Response Headquarters had initially announced that they will negotiate possible punishments for his inappropriate joke. But it appears that it may be difficult.
The General Manager of the Central Defense held a briefing where he answered a question about Kim Jaejoong’s possible punishment. General Manager Yoon announced that it’s difficult to punish him under the prevention laws of infectious diseases as he did not directly provide false information to a medical staff.
If he was currently undergoing epidemiological investigations, or he provided false information to the medical staff or the epidemiologist during treatment, he could’ve been punished according to the prevention laws of infectious diseases. But [Kim Jaejoong]’s situation does not fall in these two cases.
He caused a societal scandal by uploading it to his personal social media account. We will look into see if he can be punished under other basis, but it is difficult to punish him under the prevention laws of infectious diseases.
— General Manager
Instead of seeking legal punishment, General Manager Yoon suggested that he reflect on his actions and for others to take note of his lessons to be more cautious about the subject of COVID-19.
Rather than punishing him legally, I believe it will be better for him to be more cautious about his remarks and social media posts during the current situation where everyone is very sensitive to COVID-19.
— General Manager
Kim Jaejoong had uploaded a personal apology for his insensitive joke, where he claimed he would take responsibility for his joke. He has since cancelled all of his schedules in Japan due to the backlash.