South Korea

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Background

[1][2][3]

Fox News Broadcast

From the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General Report:File:DoD OIG - CASE NUMBER H03L88433128 - 07-10-2003.PDF

In March 2002 Fox News broadcast a report on employment of foreign nationals in involuntary prostitution in Korea. The broadcast referred to alleged practices by owners of Korean entertainment establishments such as enticing women from Russia, the Philippines, and other countries to come to Korea to work, then withholding their passports forcing them to remain in Korea and earn their freedom to return home by practicing prostitution. 
The report also suggested U.S. complicity in these schemes stemming from patronage of offending establishments by U.S. military personnel and oversight of the establishments by U.S. Military Police personnel. One segment of the report featured, among others, the following excerpts from interviews with Service members who were serving on a Courtesy Patrol2 of off­base establishments: 

* In response to the question posed by the Fox reporter "So you keep these places safe?" a Courtesy Patrol member replied, "Yeah, that's what we do. That's our job."
* In another excerpt, a member of the Courtesy Patrol observed: "All these bar owners buy girls at auction. These girls have to earn however much money it takes to get their passports back."
* In an earlier scene, that Service member had explained: "They [ women working in bars] are told to come here to make some money. And no they don't make money. They just make enough to buy their passport back. Because the people in Russia get them a visa, passport -- the whole 9 yards to work in Korea. They get off the plane and Korean nationals who work at the airport take the visa and passport away and put them in a line at the side. And they go to auction."

In a letter dated May 31, 2002, 13 members of the U.S. Congress, acting under the auspices of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe ("Helsinki Commission"), requested that we investigate allegations that "U.S. military personnel, particularly those stationed in South Korea, are engaged in activities that promote and facilitate the trafficking and exploitation of women." 


Department of Defense Office of Inspector General Investigation

Department of Defense Office of Inspector General report on accusation that US Army personnel assisted in sex trafficking in South Korea.

File:DoD OIG - CASE NUMBER H03L88433128 - 07-10-2003.PDF

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Followup Articles

Navy Times

Relationship to #Pizzagate

Connection to Donald Rumsfeld

Additional Resources

  • Protests Against U.S. Military Base Policy in Asia: Persuasion and Its Limits, by Yuko Kawato, Stanford University Press [5]