Disclaimer

This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Korea's NSFW, Part XI: Prostitution on US Military Personnels in the present-day. That's why Koreans hate Yanks so much.



Prostitutes servicing members of the U.S. military in South Korea have been known locally under a variety of terms. Yankee princess (hangul: 양공주—also translated as Western princess) is a common name and literal meaning for the prostitutes in the Gijichon, U.S. military Camp Towns in South Korea. Yankee whore (hangul: 양갈보 Yanggalbo) and Western whore are also a common name. The women are also referred to as U.N. madams (hangul: 유엔마담/U.N. madam). Juicy girls are the common name of Filipinas prostitutes. The term "Western princess" has been commonly used in the press, such as The Dong-a Ilbo for decades. On the other hand, it is also used as an insulting epithet.

Until the early 1990s, the term Wianbu (hangul: 위안부 , "Comfort Women") was often used by South Korean media and officials to refer to prostitutes for the U.S. military, but comfort women was also the euphemism used for the sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army, and in order to avoid confusions, the term yanggongju replaced wianbu to refer to sexual laborers for the U.S. military. The early 1990s also saw the two women's rights movements diverge: on one side the one representing the Cheongsindae (Comfort women for the Japanese military), and on the other side the movement representing the Gijichon (Camptown for the US military), even if some women happen to have been victim of forced labor on both sides. Now some South Korean media use the term migun wianbu (미군 위안부, 美軍慰安婦 "US military comfort women"), literally American Comfort Women.

Yankee Market at SaengYeon-dong, Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province. This market sells US-made goods but it includes PROSTITUTION as well.
During the early 1990s, the prostitutes became a symbol of South Korean anti-American nationalism. In 1992, there were about 18,000 registered and 9,000 unregistered South Korean women around U.S. military bases. In 1992, Yun Geum-i, a prostitute in Dongducheon, was brutally killed by U.S. servicemen. Yun was found dead with a bottle stuffed into her vagina and an umbrella into her anus (Oh Fucking Hell, that was really BRUTAL). In August 1993, the U.S. government compensated the victim's family with about US$72,000. However, the murder of a prostitute did not itself spark a national debate about the prerogatives of the U.S. forces; on the other hand, the rape of a twelve-year-old Okinawan school girl in 1995 by U.S. Marines elicited much public outrage and brought wider attention to military-related violence against women.

Since the mid-1990s, Russian, Uzbek, Kazakh, and Filipino women have worked as prostitutes in U.S. military camp towns in South Korea. Reportedly, many of them were forced into prostitution. Since the 2000s, the majority of prostitutes have been Philippine or Russian women; South Koreans have become less numerous. Since the mid-1990s, foreigners make up 80–85 percent of the women working at clubs near military bases. Between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, nearly 5,000 women from Russia and the Philippines were smuggled into South Korea and forced into sexual slavery.

On the other hand, South Korean prostitutes are still represented in large numbers. According to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, South Korean prostitutes numbered about 330,000 in 2002. Most of these are not working near US bases, but operating on the local economy. In 2013, the Ministry estimated that about 500,000 women worked in the national sex industry. The Korean Feminist Association estimates the actual number may exceed one million. According to the estimates up to one-fifth of women between the ages of 15 and 29 have worked in the sex industry.

The South Korean government also admits sex trade accounts for as much as 4 percent of the annual gross domestic product. In August 1999, a Korean club owner in Dongducheon was accused of trafficking in women by bringing more than 1000 Philippine and Russian women into South Korea for U.S. military bases, but a South Korean judge overturned the warrant. In 2000, five foreign women locked in a brothel died in a fire in Gunsan. In early 2002, 12 women died in a similar fire, also locked in a Gunsan pub.

In 2002, Fox Television reported casing brothels where trafficked women were allegedly forced to prostitute themselves to American soldiers. U.S. soldiers testified that the club or bar owners buy the women at auctions, therefore the women must earn large sums of money to recover their passports and freedom. In May 2002, U.S. lawmakers asked U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for an investigation that "If U.S. soldiers are patrolling or frequenting these establishments, the military is in effect helping to line the pockets of human traffickers".

In June 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense pledged to investigate the trafficking allegations. In 2003, the Seoul District Court ruled that three night club owners near Camp Casey must compensate all Filipino women who had been forced into prostitution. The club owners had taken their passports and had kept the women locked up. One Philippine woman who was in captivity kept a diary about her confinement, beating, abortion and starvation. Before the trial began, the International Organization for Migration studied the trafficking of foreign women and reported the result to its headquarters in Geneva. The Philippine Embassy also joined the proceedings, making it the first embassy to take steps on behalf of its nationals.

In the same year, the South Korean government completely discontinued issuing visas to Russian women, so prostitution businesses moved to bring in more Filipinos instead. Human traffickers also brought in Russian women through sham marriages. In 2005, Filipino and Russian women accounted for 90 percent of the prostitutes in U.S. military camp towns. In 2005, Hwang Sook-hyang, a club owner in Dongducheon, was sentenced to a 10-month suspended sentence and 160 hours of community service on charges of illegal brothel-keeping. The following civil trial sentenced him to compensate US$5,000 to a Philippine woman who was forced to have sex with U.S. soldiers between February 8 and March 3, 2004. The Philippine woman was recruited by a South Korean company in the Philippines as a nightclub singer in 2004, then she and several Philippine women were locked inside Hwang's club and forced to have sex with U.S. soldiers. The former "juicy bar" employees testified that soldiers usually paid US$150 to bring women from the bar to a hotel room for sex; the women received US$40. Most juicy bars have a quota system linked to drink purchases. Women who do not sell enough juice are forced into prostitution by their managers.

In 2004, the U.S. Defense Department proposed anti-prostitution. A U.S. serviceman at Camp Foster (located on Okinawa) told a Stars and Stripes reporter that although prostitution was illegal in the United States, in South Korea, Thailand and Australia, it was "pretty open". By 2009, the Philippine Embassy in South Korea had established a "Watch List" of bars where Philippine women were forced into prostitution and were considering sharing it with the U.S. military in hopes that U.S. commanders would put such establishments near bases off-limits to their troops.

As of 2009, some 3,000 to 4,000 women working as prostitutes came annually from Southeast Asia, accounting for 90% of the prostitutes. Despite prostitution being illegal in South Korea, camp towns were still practically exempted from crackdowns.

In 2010, the United States Department of State, reported the predicament of women who worked at bars near U.S. military bases as one of ongoing human trafficking concerns in South Korea. The Government of the Philippines stopped approving contracts that promoters used to bring Philippine women to South Korea to work near U.S. military bases.

In 2011, the Eighth Army founded the Prevention of Sexual Assault Task Force; the task force assessed and reported the climate in South Korea regarding sexual assault among U.S. soldiers. The report also described sexual assault which arose between a low-ranking female soldier who recently arrived on the Korean Peninsula and an older male officer. According to Brigadier General David Conboy, the task force was not being formed in response to a single incident, but as a broader effort to study the unit's sexual assault prevention and response measures. However, the report has yet to be approved.

In 2012, a United States Forces Korea public service announcement clarified, "Right now, young women are being lured to Korea thinking they will become singers and dancers," and "Instead, they will be sexually exploited in order to support their families." The United States Forces Korea posted a video on YouTube, clarifying that "buying overpriced drinks in a juicy bar supports the human trafficking industry, a form of modern-day slavery." However, some U.S. commanders continue to allow American soldiers to patronize the bars as long as they have not been caught directly engaging in prostitution or human trafficking. Most recently, in June 2013, General Jan-Marc Jouas placed all juicy bars outside Osan Air Base off-limits for Seventh Air Force personnel. This change in policy resulted in three weeks of large scale protests in the local area, however, General Jouas credits this change in policy as resulting in most Juicy bars in the area closing down.

On June 25 2014, 122 surviving Korean comfort women for the U.S. forces filed a lawsuit against their government to reclaim human dignity and won ₩10 million (US$9800) compensation per plaintiff. According to the claim, they were supervised by the U.S. forces and the South Korean government and South Korean authorities colluded with pimps in blocking them from leaving. The suit comes as an distraction for the South Korean government which has been claiming Japan hasn’t fully compensated women forced to serve as sex slaves for the imperial Japanese military.