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South Korea

S.Korea still a major sex tourism destination, US report claims

S.Korea still a major sex tourism destination, US report claims
Image via Asia-Watch

By Nelson Alcantara | Jan 16, 2008

(eTN) - South Korea remains a major destination in Asia for organized sex tours, the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) has revealed.

According to the CRS’s recent report entitled "Trafficking in Persons: US Policy and Issues for Congress,” South Korea is on the same level as the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong as major Asian destinations for sex tourism, while Indonesia and Taiwan were categorized as secondary destinations.

"We're making all-out efforts to present accurate information on Korea to politicians, government officials, academics and experts in the US,” a South Korean official in Washington told local Korean news agency ChoSun in response to the report. “It is sometimes possible that accurate information on the reality in Korea is not delivered. We'll take a proper countermeasure after finding out the truth first."

The Korean government has closed down brothels, “organized prostitution for foreign tourists has to all intents and purposes eradicated, and ordinary prostitution has been outlawed and drastically reduced,” after prostitution crackdown laws went into effect on Sept. 23, 2004.

“The latest classification by the CRS is, therefore, a blow for the Korean government, highlighting the need to disseminate accurate information to improve the national image,” Cho Sun news said.

The CRS report stated that US President George W. Bush on Oct. 18, 2007 issued sanctions against North Korea, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, which the US State Department had categorized, in its own human trafficking report, as Tier 3 countries for failing to address the problem of trafficking for forced labor.

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