Unsurprisingly the Korean bar owners are unhappy with USFK’s decision to bar troops from buying drinks inside of bars for juicy girls:
A month-old U.S. Forces Korea policy banning servicemembers from buying drinks for “juicy bar” workers in exchange for companionship has angered some bar owners, who say it unfairly labels them as “pimps” and is hurting other establishments that cater to troops.
“It’s nonsensical to treat us as if we are whorehouses,” said Yi Hun-hui, owner of the Cadillac Club near Camp Humphreys. Now, he said, some local bar owners are talking about going into a different line of work because they’re angry at the military. “These were people who liked USFK. They were people who supported USFK, and now they’re embarrassed.” (………..)
The organization’s Pyeongtaek branch already has asked for support from the city mayor and National Assembly members. It is collecting signatures on a petition from businesses, local citizens and civic groups throughout the city, he said. That petition will be sent to U.S. military officials on the peninsula later this month.
Yi, who employs seven Filipina women, said he ordered his female workers to wear jeans and T-shirts instead of skirts and low-cut tops after the Oct. 15 policy letter was issued.
“I did this so USFK would stop its narrow-minded view that our female employees are hookers,” he said.
It was unclear how or whether the new policy was affecting business for other bar owners. Five claimed the policy change was driving down sales for others, though all of those interviewed denied that their own bars had been hurt by the ban.
Lee Deok Bum, said business hasn’t dropped in recent weeks at Sportsman, his 15-year-old bar in Dongducheon, which employees five Filipina women, but he said he and other bar owners in the city are angry about the new USFK rule. He accused the U.S. military of judging South Korean bars by American cultural standards, not by what is acceptable in Korea.
Some bar owners have complained the new policy is unclear and appears to ban servicemembers from buying drinks for anyone, even friends. The policy letter, however, bans only buying drinks and other items for an “employee’s company or companionship, inside or outside a bar or establishment.”
An official at the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said the ministry has received no complaints about the new policy from bar owners. The ministry began inspecting businesses that hire foreign entertainers, including some outside U.S. military bases, earlier this year in an effort to reduce human trafficking.
Seo In Ho, owner of Xanadu bar outside Osan Air Base, said most bar owners have interpreted the new policy to mean their USFK clientele can’t buy drinks — even water — for anyone else. One of his friends, a male servicemember, now tells Seo that he can’t even buy the bar owner a drink, and Seo said the ban on buying drinks for companionship is discouraging troops from going to bars at all.
He said all bar owners are being treated as if they are running brothels, and some women who work at bars are quitting because they feel like they’re being treated as prostitutes.
“Our self-respect has been hurt,” he said. [Stars & Stripes]
You can read more at the link, for the bar owner complaining about USFK using American cultural standards to judge the bars, he is absolutely right. However, USFK has to worry about what is going on back in the US and what Koreans find acceptable is irrelevant when the US military is being routinely criticized by special interest groups. That is what likely drove the change in policy for USFK since the special interests were gearing up to go after them over the juicy girl issue.
Also I find it hard to feel sorry for these shady juicy bar owners who have been ripping off GIs for years with the juicy girl business model and over priced drinks. With that said I still think USFK should have at least given these bar owners a carrot by making the new policy stipulate that bars that employ third country nationals would be put off limits due to human trafficking concerns. This would leave the bar owners with the option of employing Korean women which would be much more difficult for USFK to be accused of supporting human trafficking with. I am surprised though that these bar owners have not come up with workarounds to this policy yet instead of complaining to the Stars & Stripes.