Two crime stories involving imported Vietnamese brides showed up in the Korean media today.
First, a 53-year-old Mr. Lee was arrested and charged with entering into a sham marriage so that a newborn Vietnamese child would be placed into his family registry, presumably so that the child could share in the benefits of residence in South Korea. Five other people were charged in false-marriage schemes involving three children, which netted the Korean participants some 27 million won ($25,150). The brokers made off with 42 million won. Apparently investigators believe they “made use of the fact” that the Vietnamese embassy will not recognize a child born out of wedlock and therefore they were unable to take the children back to Vietnam.
Second, it turns out there is a “manual” being circulated to Vietnamese women in Korea advising them how to safely run away from their Korean husbands. The manual, which reportedly costs millions of won, is supposedly written by people who want to convince the women to come work in their bars. While some of these marriages may have been fraudulent from the get-go, the reporter seems to side with those who think the Korean men who import brides are somehow powerless to assert their own rights – which would be, what, to keep their women locked away? – and that their plight is being swept under the rug by a government that wants to promote multiculturalism. Some of these complaints may have merit, but this article is a great example of how many Korean journalists are content to do a write-up using just one source without providing any balance at all.