Korean Sociological Image #74: Child Sex Offender Notices

Korean Sex Offender Website(Source)

Update: With thanks to reader Lily for pointing it out, the notice I received says not to post it on the internet, so I’ve replaced it with a screenshot of the Korean sex offender registry website, www.sexoffender.go.kr. Sorry that that makes the post and comments now difficult to follow.

Received in my letter box this morning. And, presumably, every other one in the neighborhood.

I don’t have time to translate the entire thing sorry, let alone the advice and information provided on the back. But here is the information about his crime:

In October 2011, in Haeundae-gu, XX-dong, this person attempted to rape a teenage girl, but failed. On May 17 2012, he was convicted according to the “Protection of Children and Juveniles from Sexual Abuse Act,” imprisoned for 2 years and 6 months, with 4 years’ probation, given 40 hours of sex violence treatment lectures, and required to have his personal information be made available to the public for 3 years.

Apologies for the confusion — has he just been released? If not, why is this notice being provided now? — and would appreciate it if anyone could clarify.

Meanwhile, regardless of the country, how would you react if you received something similar? Has it happened to any readers before?

Also, you may be interested in comparing this wanted notice sent to all Busan households in March 2010, after the rape and murder of a 13 year-old girl.

(For more posts in the Korean Sociological Image series, see here)

12 thoughts on “Korean Sociological Image #74: Child Sex Offender Notices

  1. Not making a judgement, just something that came into my head when I saw this.

    Is it really thee best way to tackle this problem by making people prone to sexual violence feel angry and victimised? (Not saying they are victims, just saying they might feel that way more than previously as a result of this).

    Surely what’s needed is better education all round. Boys need to be taught enough that the number who go out and do things like this will decrease (there’s far too much sex crime in Korea). Girls need to know more about the dangers that are out there instead of being told they live in a safe country. Adults need to be educated about why the number of such crimes is so high (lack of education, amongst others) and what can be done to prevent it.

    It strikes me that punishments such as the above are merely pandering to the recently roused anger of the general public and are less about making a safer society. It’s not a long term solution, to my eyes.

    In the short term, well I can’t imagine too many people are going to go anywhere near this guy. If they’re not going to put him in prison, if they’re going to let him back into general society, surely they should do everything they can to educate and rehabilitate him properly. 40 hours of lectures? All he’s going to learn form that is: You’re a very naughty boy. Jesus, I remember the anti-sexual harassment videos they showed me at my previous company. They were shockingly bad. Laughable, almost.

    • Just one thing: “Girls need to know more about the dangers that are out there instead of being told they live in a safe country.” I don’t mean to over-analyze something you just said off the top of your head, but why wouldn’t Korean girls know enough about the dangers, and who’s telling them that they live in a safe country? I admit I don’t know or talk to Korean girls or teens myself, or talk about this subject with their parents or teachers (perhaps I should), but given the mania about sex crimes against children that’s arisen in the last couple of years, then I would have imagined that the dangers are regularly pointed out to them these days.

      • Of course you’re right, perhaps everyone is well aware of the dangers. I can’t accurately say. Personally, I grew up in London where – just as with most of the western world – it’s young men who are most at risk of violent crimes. Such violence has been in the news for as long as I can remember and everyone is well aware of it. In Korea, however, it seems that the rates and types of violent crimes skew the other way. It seems to me that if you’re a young man you’re probably quite safe, whereas women are more likely to be victims here. And yet, despite this, there’s a myth about Korea that it’s a safe country. I’ve met Koreans for whom it’s a point of pride to say that nobody has to worry about walking down the street alone. On the other hand, most Korean women are pretty savvy when it comes to taking taxis by taking photos of the number plate and such. But then many female colleagues seem happy to let each other walk home alone and don’t bat an eyelid at all the brothels, massage places, endless flyers for prostitutes and drunken, self-entitled ajosshis around my old office (Yeoksam). Yeah, I’m not really sure what my point is/was any more!

        I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I just feel that there are few cases of sexual violence – usually against minors – that are hyper-emphasised in the media, and even that is a fairly recent trend. But there seems to be a lot more “everyday” sexual violence that goes on than sometimes people seem to be aware of.

  2. Yes, we received one a few months ago. It was quite an unnerving experience. I guess in our case, the offender had just been released and just moved to our dong. If you go to the website at the bottom of the letter, you can see if there are any other sex offenders in your area and actually pin point their exact location. We have 3 who all live in almost the same spot, so I don’t know if it is some sort of half way house or cheap rent or something? Of course….considering how many assaults are never reported…and considering how often people have gotten off with the drunkenness defence in the past, the real danger is probably in the many people who live around us who have never been brought to trial or convicted of an offense.

    • I tried the website (on IE of course), but after installing something like 3 programs to view the map, which seemed to take 10 minutes, finally the website required some form of ID was required…by which stage I’d had enough. It’s telling that I still thought requiring ID to view the results was normal and acceptable, living in Korea so long and all, but after a rethink I can’t think of any real reason that would be necessary.

      I wonder if similar websites overseas also require ID?

  3. From what I know, the sentence is for jail and probation, not a suspended sentence. But then just to double check I looked at naver dictionary and got this. Most of the examples suggest what I saw above, but the first example counters it. Bizarre. Still, it makes little sense to make information available for someone who’s in prison, but then maybe this is the way the authorities gets around the problems Seamus Walsh suggests above? I have no idea.
    As for ‘girls need to know more,’ this case alone suggests that (the Korean-language part is far more detailed – the English part leaves out the fact that he’d visited a couple times before).

    • Ooops…I see, the very last instruction on the back, yes. Thanks very much for letting me know, and I’ll delete it now. In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense, seeing as information about them is only supposed to be available to the public for a limited period of time.

      As an aside, and I don’t mean to sound facetious, but as I look for an alternative image I’m amazed at how many pictures of naked women the Google image search term “성범죄” throws up, although I guess that again I shouldn’t really be surprised.

      • You are welcome! :)
        Yeah, it is not that surprising…
        Well, maybe you can delete some parts and make some of the parts blur, and maybe you can still give people some of the ideas that what it is like… and stuff.. :)

        And… Thanks for visiting my blog and….

        Your blog is amazing! :)

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