Korean Court Rules in Favor of Compensation for Prostitutes that Worked Outside of US Military Bases

This is ruling about prostitution outside US military bases is nothing new and widely known for decades throughout Korea:

Women who were encouraged by the South Korean government to work as prostitutes near US military bases hold a press conference outside of the Seoul High Court in the Seocho neighborhood following a court ruling on their case on Feb. 8. (by Kim Min-kyung, staff reporter)

A court issued a first-ever ruling acknowledging that the Republic of Korea actively justified or encouraged prostitution with the operation of US “military camp towns” for the sake of the military alliance and foreign currency acquisition.“In regarding the right to sexual self-determination of the women in the camp town and the very character of the plaintiffs as represented through their sexuality as means of achieving state goals, the state violated its obligation to respect human rights,” the court concluded, ordering the payment of compensation to all 117 plaintiffs.

Hon. Judge Lee Beom-gyun of Seoul High Court’s 22nd civil affairs division ruled on Feb. 8 in the case filed by 117 former military camp town prostitutes to demand damages from the state, which was ordered to pay compensation of 7 million won (US$6,370) to 74 of the plaintiffs and 3 million won (US$2,730) to the remaining 43.“According to official Ministry of Health and Welfare documents, [the state] actively encouraged the women in the military camp towns engage in prostitution to allow foreign troops to ‘relax’ and ‘enjoy sexual services’ with them,” the court said.“In the process, [the state] operated and managed the military camp towns with the intention or purpose of contributing to maintenance of a military alliance essential for national security by ‘promoting and boosting morale’ among foreign troops while mobilizing prostitutes for economic goals such as acquisition of foreign currency,” it ruled.  [Hankyoreh]

You can read more at the link, but there is some nuance to the ruling in favor of the prostitutes to worked outside of US military base. The court did not find the government liable for forcing them into prostitution, just managing it by forcing them into medical treatment:

But the court did not accept the plaintiffs’ claim that the state had also violated the law by establishing the base village in the first time “to allow prostitution to take place easily.”“It is impossible to conclude that the victims were in a situation where they did not begin engaging in prostitution within the area of their own free will or could not leave,” the court said.  [Hankyoreh]

This is important because if the government was found to have forced these women into prostitution than that would allow the Japanese right to say that the ROK government should stop complaining about World War II era comfort women when they had their own comfort women system going.  This is technically correct because the ROK government was not grabbing women out of their homes and putting them into clubs.

Many of the prostitutes came from poor families who sold their daughters to the club owners to make ends meet or put a son through college for example.  Other became prostitutes in the hope of marrying a GI to escape poverty.  However, they ended up in the club system they were effectively managed by the Korean government to not spread disease.  They were forcibly given STD treatments and those that were found to be diseased were then forcibly interned.  This is where the human rights violations come into play for these women by the state.

Something to keep in mind is that the US military bases were not the only locations with prostitutes.  Can prostitutes stationed outside ROK Army bases or even in urban red light districts now sue for damages as well?  What about the women brought in from the Philippines beginning in the 1990’s that were forced into prostitution?  Can they sue for damages as well?

Australian Army Captain Advocates for Prostitutes to Be Stationed with Deployed Troops

Here is what one Australian Army officer thinks should be done to increase morale for troops overseas:

An Australian army captain currently serving in the Middle East has written an opinion piece requesting the defence forces allow sex workers to help soldiers ‘relieve stress’ Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5141151/Australian-army-captain-says-prostitutes-allowed.html#ixzz50aRmdBt4 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

An Australian army captain currently serving in the Middle East has written an opinion piece requesting the defence forces allow sex workers to help soldiers ‘relieve stress’

Captain Sally Williamson wrote the article for the Land Power Forum, a website run by the Australian military giving past and present servicemen and women a chance to express their thoughts and offer ideas.

Capt. Williamson posted the story, titled ‘Sex And War – A Conversation Army Has To Have’, in early November but it was removed days later after fierce scrutiny.

‘Opinions on the subject will undoubtedly vary, but the conversation about sexual activism and regulation on deployment is worth having,’ the since-deleted post reads.  (…..)

She begins the story by referencing past instances of the sex industry successfully integrating with armed forces and believes the ‘Army could contract Australian male and female sex workers to service troops in forward operating bases and air bases.’  (…..)

‘Another option the ADF could consider is facilitating safe and regulated sexual satisfaction through other means such as providing masturbation facilities or issuing sex toys,’ she wrote.  [Daily Mail]

You can read more at the link.

What is a “Tenpro” Girl in South Korea?

A journal from Duke University’s East Asia studies department has an article published that describes South Korea’s “Tenpro” prostitution culture:

Tenpro (Koran for “ten percent”) are a special kind of sex worker conceptually defined and imagined as women who are intellectually and aesthetically in the top ten percentile of all women, similar in concept to a high-end escort of the United States. Because of the exclusivity and secrecy that surrounds these exceptionally beautiful tenpros, this glamorous business had been veiled from the eyes of the general public. Only recently, with the spread of this business practice and heightened interest in this topic, a few former tenpros like Mihee have released detailed first-hand accounts of their lives.

According to a research conducted by the Korean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, an average of 49 Korean men out of 100 are predicted to have had used some sort of sexual service, despite the fact that prostitution is illegal in Korea. Additionally,  research conducted by the Korean Women’s Development Institute indicates that prostitution amounts to approximately 1.6 percent of Korea’s GDP, or 13 billion US dollars. When we compare this figure to that of America’s, which is currently estimated to be 14 billion dollars, or less than 0.1 percent of its GDP, we see that an average Korean man spends 16 times more than their American counterparts on sexual services.   [Duke East Asia Nexux]

You can read the rest at the link, but the article concludes by stating that high end prostitution services in Korea is so popular because it is a status symbol for the well off to flaunt their wealth to their peers by affording “Tenpro” girls.

Captive Thai Women Rescued from Brothel in Busan

A group of Thai women were recently rescued in Busan after a supermarket worker tipped off police:

The note the woman handed to the supermarket clerk. / Yonhap

A Thai woman’s wits have led to her rescue and that of four others from a brothel in South Korea.

The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency revealed the case on Wednesday.

The incident started when the five women visited a Busan supermarket on May 16 under the “guidance” of a Korean man.

The women were regular customers who visited late at night to buy daily necessities.

On May 16, the women bought products while the Korean man stood just outside the supermarket. But something unusual happened when they paid the bill.

As one of the women extended her cash-filled hand to the casher, he realized there was more there than he expected — a hand-written SOS message hidden inside the cash.

“Help the police. I was caught in the fourth floor of the building,” read the note in English, Korean and Thai.  [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but it seems like the police in Busan were not to motivated to find these women.

27 Illegal Brothels Closed in Gangnam so Far This Year

According to the article since 2013 the police have closed a total of 187 brothels in Gangnam to include the 27 they just closed:

Gangnam-gu removed 27 illegal brothels from near schools and residential areas during the first half of this year, according to the Gangnam-gu Office on Monday.

Twenty-three were in residential areas, while four were near schools.

“We will continue to cooperate closely with the Gangnam and Suseo Police Station to get rid of illegal brothels,” Lee Hee-yeon, who heads the urban advancement office.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Three ROK Army Cadets Expelled Day Before Graduation for Visiting Prostitutes

It looks like the ROK military like the US military has taken a very strong stance against prostitution:

Three Korea Military Academy (KMA) cadets were expelled a day before their graduation for allegedly visiting prostitutes, the elite school said on Friday.

“We received intelligence regarding their illegal activity on Monday and it was proven grounded through an internal investigation,” a KMA official said.

The official said the three visited a “massage parlor” in Gangnam, an entertainment district in southern Seoul, on Feb. 4. “One of the cadets admitted having sex there, while the others claim they didn’t, arguing they paid money but didn’t (have sex) out of a sense of guilt,” the official said.

A separate police investigation is under way, the official said.

The KMA had it 73rd commencement on Friday with 248 graduates who will be commissioned as Army second lieutenants. The highest distinction, summa cum laude, went to female cadet Lee Eun-ae.   [Korea Times]

Cheongnyangni 588 Red Light District Slowly Being Demolished In Seoul

According to the article the Cheongnyangni 588 red light district got started during the Korean War since it was the location of a station that transported soldiers north to the front lines.  After the war the location remained a major red light district for Seoul.  Now it will soon become an apartment development as the brothels are all being evicted:

The brothel area has long been called just “588,” although it is unclear where this name came from. Some historians say it was derived from one of the back alley’s address, while others say the area used to have a bus service with that number.

Now the district is counting down its final days.

A redevelopment project will begin later this year — tall luxury buildings will occupy the 41,586 square meters of land — and developers are evicting the women.

The demolition and eviction of the remaining 588 zone will begin next month.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Owner and Employees of Sex Club In Seoul Sentenced to Jail

Another sex club in Seoul has been broken up according to the Korea Times.  I had to chuckle when I read that even the janitor got a jail sentence.  Fortunately for all of them the sentences were suspended so they don’t have to actually go to jail if they stay out of trouble:

A banner ad for an adult “voyeurism” club in Goyang

This is an imaginative scene at an adult sex club in Seoul called “Voyeurism Club” based on what the operators revealed in a criminal court on Dec. 4.

Seoul Central District Court punished the operators of the club that fed the sexual appetites for perverts, allowing visitors to have sex in an open space or watch others doing so.

The court sentenced the club’s chief operator, surnamed Won, 43, to 18 months’ jail, suspended for two years, and 15 million won ($12,000) fine for infringing the laws of punishing acts related to the sex.

Targeting those with “abnormally obscene desires,” Won managed the bar-like club in Gwanak-gu that he rented twice a month from May 2014 until last July.

The court said he paid two housewives to dance nude in front of visitors and provide sexual service to them.

He also offered 100,000 to 150,000 won admission to members of an online community for couples and single male office workers and asked them to act as prostitutes.

The court also sentenced the club’s pimp, 46, and janitor, 45, to six months’ jail, suspended for a year.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

15 Women Arrested for Illegal Sex Trafficking and Prostitution In Dallas

If you are going to commit illegal prostitution in the US, having your massage parlor named “The Texas Doll House” and having a manager named “Kum Shugars” is probably not the best cover:

Fifteen women were arrested and eight brothels were shut down last month in northwest Dallas as part of a sex-trafficking investigation, authorities say.

The women, all of whom were owners or managers of massage parlors in northwest Dallas, were arrested in stings Aug. 26. Most of the women were booked into the Dallas County Jail on charges of aggravated promotion of prostitution, a third-degree felony.

The charge carries a minimum of two to 10 years in prison if convicted, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Two of the arrested women, Connie Su Moser and Kum Shugars, are charged with using a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise for using cellphones and the internet to promote prostitution at Dallas Doll House, according to the North Texas Trafficking Task Force. Moser, the owner of Dallas Doll House, also faces one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.  [Dallas News via reader tip]

You can read more at the link, but for those who are wondering; Ms. Kum Shugars must have been doing a good job running the place since it had positive reviews:

Services rendered, according to the anonymous reviewers, are indistinguishable from what one might expect at a brothel that wasn’t pretending to be something else.

CBJs (oral sex with a condom), CFS (vaginal sex with a condom) and DATY (oral sex performed by the client on the Doll House employee) are all mentioned multiple times, along with physical descriptions of the women providing the services.

“It’s a classic AMP [Asian massage parlor],” user Bill M says. “Decent looking girls there the time I went about 2 months ago.”  [Dallas Observer]

The owner of the massage parlor Connie Sue Moser appears to have been doing quite well for herself with her whole in the wall massage parlor business:

Moser, the owner of the Doll House, was arrested at her Lewisville home. Shugars, a manager at the parlor, was arrested at Dallas Doll House. Both were charged with use of a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise.

The task force also seized roughly $420,000 from Moser’s home, $70,000 from her bank accounts and her 2015 Lexus.  [WFAA]

You can read more at all of the above links.