Korea: More Prostitutes Commit Suicide Over Police Crackdown

By Kang Shin-who
Staff Reporter

11-02-2008 17:45

Two female prostitutes who lost their jobs following a crackdown in the red-light district of Jangan-dong in eastern Seoul took their own lives over the weekend, police said Sunday.

On Saturday evening, a 26 year-old female worker at a “massage parlor’’ in the area was found having hanged herself at her place of work in an apparent suicide. A day earlier, another woman, 36, an employee of a nearby brothel, hanged herself in her home.

Dongdaemun Police Station said the 26-year-old woman, only identified as Lee, left a suicide death note. Her brothel, operating as a massage parlor, had been closed at the height of the intensive crackdown.

In the note (written on a tissue box), she expressed frustration over the “hasty’’ crackdown.

When policemen were moving their bodies to a hospital, neighboring pimps and shop owners tried to block police officers, claiming they might try to conceal the suicide note. Police are investigating the cases.

Last August, a pimp identified by his surname, Choi, hanged himself in an underground parking lot, criticizing police for making his life difficult.

Pimps at massage parlors and shop owners are claiming that a series of suicides occurred following what they call precipitous crackdowns that forced them to fold their businesses and made it difficult for them to find new means of income.

Many of those involved in the sex industry in the region are scrambling to find new jobs and businesses for survival.

Police said they will continue to crack down on brothels regardless of the back-to-back suicides.

kswho@koreatimes.co.kr

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2 Comments

  1. This is an absolute travesty. This is a direct result of US policy. The US has these peoples’ blood on their hands. Prostitution in Korea was legal until the US placed Korea on the Trafficking Watchlist, which encourages countries to criminalize prostitution to fight trafficking. Countries who take the recommended US policies, such as criminalization, can get off thew watchlist and receive money.

    Well, it looks like the US’s zealots will realize their dreams- fewer prostitutes in Korea. Bastards.

  2. […] Korea: More Prostitutes Commit Suicide Over Police Crackdown […]


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