Exporter of prostitution
``A new power in the global sex industry.” That is Korea’s current nickname in the international community. The situation is too serious to ascribe it as just a balloon effect ― a strong crackdown on prostitution at home has driven sex industry workers abroad.
Foreign residents’ protests have been audible wherever a relatively large Korean community has formed, ranging from a small county in the America’s south to Australia, Canada, Southeast Asia and even Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Can Korea, especially its male population, refute foreigners’ jeers that they can’t live without buying sex?
Now the foreign ministry has asked Canberra to tighten the screening of young Korean women wanting to enter Australia on the working holiday visas. The foremost victims of the promiscuous labels for this country include students. Yet one can’t help feeling dumbstruck to hear some students abroad are also engaged in the world’s oldest vocation to earn tuition and living costs.
What has made this country fall so low? A traditionally tolerant culture for men’s sexual license? A rapidly liberalizing awareness of sex among younger generations, especially women? An undue spread of materialism?
At least this much seems certain: Korean men, especially political, economic and social leaders, have little sense of guilt in treating women recklessly. Nothing shows this better than the former Grand National Party, the predecessor of the ruling Saenuri Party, being called the ``sexual harassment party,” as it failed ― refused ― to kick out lawmakers who kept touching female reporters, or told would-be women announcers to get ready to ``give all they have” to realize their goals.
It’s routine that bureaucrats receive ``sexual entertainment” paid for by private businesses with related interests, and even policemen and other government employees responsible for cracking down on prostitution change their roles to clients, free of charge.
For now, there seem to be few good ideas to prevent prostitution in Korean communities abroad except for calling for self-restraint or staging a national self-purification drive, to little avail.
The sex trade and human trafficking are an embarrassing part of human civilization in the 21st-century. That Korea stands at its forefront is still more embarrassing. Most embarrassing of all, few Koreans, in or outside the nation, seem to care much.