N. Korean women popular as brides: JoongAng Ilbo

The JoongAng Ilbo (Korean) reports that female North Korean defectors are increasingly popular with South Korean men as brides.

One 46-year-old man running a Japanese restaurant in Cheonan who married a 37-year-old North Korean defector said he was hesitant at first to enter a relationship because he thought there would be a huge cultural gap, but his thinking changed “180 degrees” after meeting her.

He said he liked her purity/innocense, which was hard to find in South Korean women. He also liked her deep thoughts and her vitality, a product perhaps of the great difficulties she has faced.

The JoongAng said while men might have prejudices against North Korean defector women, when they actually meet them, the responses are often good.

According to one matchmaking service, over the last year, 208 of the 320 men (65%) they set up with defector women applied to have a relationship. For South Korean women during the same period, the numbers were 48% for men never married and 53% for men looking to re-marry. The CEO of the service said North Korean defector women are very thoughtful and aren’t fussy about the man’s conditions (i.e., job, money), so the marriage rate was high.

A poll conducted by the North Korean Refugees Foundation last July and August of 8,299 North Korean defectors living in South Korea revealed that 10.2% of North Korean men married South Korean women after defecting, but 32.7% of North Korean women married South Korean men. An official from the foundation said as the number of female defectors increase, the number of South Korean men who thought them bride-material was increasing, too.

  • http://josephjsteinberg.wordpress.com/ Hume’s Bastard

    I’m not surprised middle-aged South Korean men in smaller cities and rural areas would find a women who has no job prospects in the South Korean market and who is completely legally dependent on a South Korean man a convenient choice. Would a 30-year old man find such a woman so appealing? Do nostalgia, desperation, and dependence make for a good relationship?

  • http://asiancorrespondent.com/author/nschwartzman Korea Beat

    The same reason poor Vietnamese women who can’t speak Korean are considered great prospects by some.

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    I still don’t see much short-term profit in a NorthKoreaCupid.com.

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  • Q

    Thus say Koreans 남남북녀(南男北女).

  • KoreanSentryRacism

    To Hume’s Bastard and Korea Beat:
    “Typical ESLers [sic] replies [sic],” says Consoleman (aka KoreanSentry).

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Re #1: all sorts of lower inauspicious drives prompt people to enter into intimate relationships — some of those matchups flower into true love and mutually-beneficial functional partnerships, some go one of the dysfunctional routes. Right now the Modern Western Romantic dating-&-falling-love between career-oriented rough-equals thang looks less good than it usta; divorce & acrimony rates are very high. I’d be interested if any “valid” research could be done on the long-term success-rates of both ways, if they could be defined — bet it wouldn’t turn-out so different as you may be supposing.

  • http://josephjsteinberg.wordpress.com/ Hume’s Bastard

    @ #5 & #6:

    I couldn’t care less about the “institution” of marriage. North Korean women, like any woman anywhere, should have a real choice that involves any number of options, including but not exclusively, marriage. And, I think an article about North Korean women should include testimony from women, preferably North Korean women, not data about what South Korean men want.

    No, #5, I wasn’t calling you a xenophobe or racist, whatever. I was calling the article anti-feminist.

    Happy Galantine’s Day!


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