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China; South Korea: Landmark Free Trade Agreement Signed

(June 11, 2015) On June 1, 2015, China and South Korea signed a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA). (Brittany Felder, China, South Korea Sign Free Trade Agreement, PAPER CHASE (June 2, 2015).) The landmark document, which was finalized in November 2014, will eliminate tariffs on more than 90% of the two sides’ goods over the […]

South Korea: Controversial Anti-Corruption Law Promulgated

(Apr. 16, 2015) On March 26, 2015, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea promulgated the Anti-Corruption Law (Act No. 13278 (Mar. 27, 2015), Korea Ministry of Government Legislation website (in Korean)). The Law won bi-partisan approval in the National Assembly on March 3, 2015, despite controversy over its possible violations of the country’s Constitution. (Park […]

South Korea: Criminal Provision on Adultery Held Unconstitutional

(Mar. 24, 2015) South Korea’s Constitutional Court has struck down the provision that defined the crime of adultery in the Criminal Act, ending a decades-long controversy. (2009 Hun-Ba 17, Con. Ct., Feb. 26, 2015, Constitutional Court website (in Korean); Criminal Act, Act No. 293 (Sept. 18, 1953, as last amended by Act No.12898 of Dec. […]

South Korea: Tobacco Tax Hike

(Feb. 3, 2015) The price of a typical 20-count pack of cigarettes in Korea went up from KRW2,500 to KRW4,500 (about US$2.30 to $4.15) on January 1, 2015. (Joo-won Chung, Tobacco Price Hike Begets Fresh Uncertainties, KOREA HERALD (Jan. 27, 2015).) “The increase of 2,000 won includes hikes in the tobacco consumption tax, local education […]

South Korea: Suit Against Government for Forced Prostitution after 1957

(July 9, 2014) On June 25, 2014, 122 women sued the Korean government, claiming that they were forced to engage in sexual intercourse for money for members of the United States military who were stationed in Korea after the Korean War cease-fire in 1957. (Toru Higashioka, Former “Comfort Women” Serving U.S. Military File Damages Lawsuit, […]

South Korea: Kopino Family Wins Paternity Suit for First Time

(June 26, 2014) The Seoul Family Court decided in June 2014, in a landmark filiation case, that the plaintiffs, two Kopino boys, were the children of a Korean man. “Kopino” is a word that describes a person of mixed Korean and Filipino ethnicity. There are no official statistics on how many children of Korean heritage […]

South Korea: Unprecedented Claim Filed with Constitutional Court to Dissolve a Political Party

(Dec. 23, 2013) On November 5, 2013, the Korean government filed a claim with the country’s Constitutional Court to dissolve the Unified Progressive Party (UPP). At the same time, the government applied for a court injunction to suspend activities of the UPP during the trial. This case is unprecedented in the constitutional history of Korea. […]

South Korea: Ban on Dumping of Food Wastewater in the Ocean Comes into Force

(Feb. 7, 2013) The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) of the Republic of Korea promulgated the revised enforcement rule for the Marine Environment Management Act on December 29, 2011, with respect to banning the dumping of food wastewater into the ocean, effective from 2013 onwards. (MLTM Decree No. 423 [in Korean] (Dec. […]

Indonesia; South Korea: Agreement on River Restoration

(Dec. 4, 2012) On December 3, 2012, Indonesia and South Korea concluded an agreement to restore the Ciliwung River, which flows from the mountains down through Jakarta before reaching Jakarta Bay. The agreement commits about US$10 million to clean up the river, which is considered to be heavily polluted. (Indonesia, South Korea Commit to $10m […]

South Korea: International Adoption Rates Fall

(Nov. 29, 2011) While the number of intercountry adoptions throughout the world sharply declined last year, the number of children adopted from South Korea remained the same. As a result, South Korea regained its position as the number one country of origin for intercountry adoptions in the United States. (Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department […]