Kang's DUI verdict hearing set for March 3

Infielder not expected to join Pirates until legal process finalized in S. Korea

Kang's DUI verdict hearing set for March 3

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang attended a hearing in South Korea on Wednesday, during which he admitted to the latest DUI charge against him, according to multiple reports.

Kang was arrested on Dec. 2 after fleeing the scene of a DUI, and it was later revealed to be his third such charge since 2009. The Seoul Central District Court will hold a verdict hearing on March 3, according to the Yonhap News Agency and The Associated Press.

Kang has not yet reported to Spring Training with the Pirates, and he is not expected to join the club until the legal process in South Korea is complete.

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"I deeply regret what I have done," Kang said, according to the Yonhap News report. "If I can get one last chance, I will become an exemplary player to earn respect from everyone."

Prosecutors reportedly sought to levy a fine of 15 million won (approximately $13,000) against Kang for driving under the influence. The court ordered that Kang must appear in a formal trial.

Kang previously agreed to a treatment program recommended by the joint MLB panel which evaluated him following his arrest, though details of the program are unknown. His participation will be considered a "mitigating factor" in the disciplinary process, but it remains unclear if Kang will be punished by the league or the Pirates.

Pirates owner Bob Nutting said Monday it was "probably not appropriate" to discuss possible discipline from the club.

"We are absolutely disappointed that he has put himself and the organization in this circumstance," Nutting added. "As importantly, he is disappointed and embarrassed that he has put the team in this place as well.

"We'll be well-positioned to help Jung Ho get back on his feet, get himself re-established, be in a community that will support him, and at the same time, we will hold a high level of expectation and demands on him."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.