International Marriage Decreasing in South Korea

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A Vietnamese bride in South Korea was found dead in July 2010 after she was struck by her Korean husband who wielded a deadly weapon. As similar cases began to rise rapidly, the South Korean government issued a “resolution to promote healthy relationship in international marriages.”

Since then, South Koreans who were set to marry a foreigner was required to take “refinement education” prior to the wedding, while dating businesses that encourage international marriages also had to go through stricter guidelines.

Foreigners with a criminal record, multiple experiences of international marriage, mental illness or financial difficulties were prohibited from obtaining visas in South Korea. As a response, the Cambodian government imposed a temporary ban on its citizens’ from marrying South Koreans.

The rigorous legal procedures have played a large part in driving down cases of international marriages in South Korea, even though more newlyweds are couples whose husbands are older than their wives.

In the past year, 22,462 international marriages have taken place in South Korea, according to Statistics Korea. Such a figure is a 7.9 percent decrease in comparison to the previous year. In fact, the number of international marriages have been steadily decreasing every year since 2008 when 36,629 weddings were between a South Korean and a foreigner.

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