Al-Jazeera reported that some 200,000 South Korean youths run away from home annually, with many of them descending into the sex trade, according to a report by Seoul’s municipal government.
A separate survey suggested that half of female runaways become prostitutes.
In March 2013, South Korean media reported on the case of a North Korean woman who was murdered while toiling as a sex worker in the city of Hwaseong, southwest of Seoul.
The killer, who turned himself in to police, confessed that he strangled the woman to death in a fit of anger when she refused to perform a “perverted” sex act.
Prostitution has a long history in South Korea, going back to the medieval period, when the “kisaeng,” female entertainers, were officially sanctioned by the ruling elite to perform all kinds of services, including sex.