Korean Corporations Have Spent Over $1 Billion USD on Sexual Services for 2013
Maximiliano VCHK, Aug. 21, 2014, 12:06 p.m.
The picture below tells a tale that is all too known in the other side of Korea, a "window shop", where not unlike the red light district in Amsterdam, a woman stands on display offering sexual services for money.
In Korea, there are many other women just like her, and all of these women have their own clientele. In order to give you an idea of how prevalent the sex industry is in Korea, a report made by the Korea Observer has stated that the National Tax Service has estimated Korean corporate credit card spendings for sexual services surpassed $1 Billion USD in the year 2013.
$733.1 million USD is spent at "kiss rooms" and "room salons", $206.9 million USD at karaoke rooms, and $100 million USD at high class brothels (yojeongs). A "kiss room" is a room where a client can pay a woman to be his girlfriend for the night. "Room salons" are karaoke bars more centered on the party lifestyle, and clients have the option to pay for sexual services there. Some karaoke bars that are not room salons usually will call a prostitution agency on the clients' behalf in order for their client to enjoy partying with the girls then going somewhere afterwards to have sexual relations. Lastly are the high class brothels or "yojeongs", where the women are dressed in traditional Korean clothing (hanboks).
That is a lot of money going around just to have sex. According to the Korean Institute of Criminology, the sexual obsession is not just limited to the corporate industry. 1 in 5 Koreans who are in their twenties on average purchase sexual favors at least four times a month. Child and teenage prostitution is also on the rise due to many Korean runaways who are being involved in the industry. Prostitution not only affects the common people, but even the high-life living stars.
Sung Hyun Ah was recently found guilty for taking part in a prostitution ring that involved other celebrities. The "Boys Over Flowers" actress Jang Ja Hyun had previously committed suicide after confessing that she provided sexual services for 30 influential men in the industry. Only two years ago, the CEO of Open World Entertainment was found and charged guilty for sexually harassing his very own idols and trainees. Yoo In Na also stated that the CEO of her old agency tried to force himself onto her against her will.
Prostitution is a widespread business, and the amount of sexual abuse that happens as a result is quite disturbing. There are many that believe the Korean government will not make a move against it because the sex trade brings in 4% of the nation's GDP. Back in 2009 during the economic decline, the government rid itself of a regulation that had previously forced corporations to explain expenses that had exceeded $500,000.
Korea's prevalent prostitution issue is an eye-opener, and reminds us just how widespread prostitution is. Although it is hidden from the public, it is everywhere around us; not only in Korea, but everywhere else as well.