The government has reportedly changed its regulations to permanently ban foreigners convicted of sex offenses from entering the country.
In light of a series of brutal sex crimes that have outraged citizens recently, the Ministry of Justice said that a revised bill was put into effect last month prohibiting foreign sex criminals from entering the country.
Of course, none of these "brutal sex crimes" were committed by foreigners. This first made news back in October, following an uproar over a different brutal sex crime:
The Ministry of Justice said Thursday it will revise immigration rules to ban foreigners found guilty of raping Korean children from re-entering Korea permanently.
This is the latest in a series of government measures to keep sexual predators away from society.
If endorsed, it will become the toughest discipline against foreign rapists. The plan was made public during a parliamentary inspection of the ministry held in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province.
I titled my post then "Korea to deport foreign pedophiles, to give Korean ones stamp cards" because they were coming out with legislation aimed at phantom foreign pedophiles while Korean ones were getting light jail terms. Last fall, you'll remember, was the "Na-young Incident" where a 57-year-old was given a 12-year sentence for anally raping an 8-year-old, after which was supposed to follow all sorts of harsher penalties against sex offenders. The sentence was actually handed down a year earlier, but the public didn't really find out until a TV show looked at it. Last fall the English-language press ran headlines like "Foreign Sex Offenders on Rise" and "More sex crimes committed by foreigners," with the Korea Times of course taking the opportunity to bring English teachers into it.
I don't want to start comparing "brutal sex crimes," so I'll just look at the sentences, a topic Gusts of Popular Feeling covered well last fall. Far worse than the "Na-young Incident" was the case out of Jeonju where the judge gave out suspended sentences to men who raped a disabled girl in the family over nine years. What's worse, the judge put the girl back in their custody, saying she had nowhere else to go. There was the case of a man found not guilty of molesting his step-daughter because he was drunk and merely showing affection, and there are plenty of stories of people getting reduced sentences to horrible crimes because they said they were under the influence.
There were a few articles like this in 2008, shortly after the Christopher Paul Neil arrest, with the press saying South Korea was prohibiting foreign sex offenders from entering the country, as if there were any risk of them doing so in the first place.
South Korea has banned the entry of 21 Americans convicted of sexually abusing children under 14.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security forwarded to the Ministry of Justice a list of 21 American child sex offenders known to travel frequently to Asian countries. The ministry immediately decided to permanently blacklist the offenders from entering Korea.
The U.S. has begun providing a list of child sex offenders to Asian nations such as Thailand in order to crack down on Americans traveling abroad for sex tourism. South Korea is among the nations receiving the list.
A ministry official said American sex offenders could commit sex crimes against children while teaching English at private institutes in Korea, so the moment the list was received all the offenders were banned.
Ah, yes, high-profile American sex offenders could commit sex crimes if they somehow get a passport, escaped detection by Korean immigration *cough*, and got jobs in Korea. Then again sex offenders could be working in the Ministry of Justice. Stories about the threat posed by foreign sex criminals appeared in four English-language papers back then.
The Chosun Ilbo closes today with:
Also, under the revisions foreigners who have been found guilty of committing sex crimes in Korea are subject to immediate deportation. According to officials, two people have already been deported as a result.
I wonder what the punishment was before.
The Korea Times has covered this, too, and did so with an enthusiasm we've come to expect from them. I've stolen this screen capture from keithinkorea:
This news got billing on Monday over a nasty story of Korean sex criminals at a church in Canada.