A nine-story brothel? OK, Korea Times, you have my attention.

Vertical integration is a wonderful thing:

Police said Sunday they had uncovered a suspected brothel operating in a nine-story building, and fronted by a hostess bar and hotel, in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.
Police suspect almost every floor of the building was used as a brothel. Jung ran at least three floors, including one in the basement, as a hostess bar where the women served liquor to male customers and performed oral sex, according to investigators.

They added a large number of the customers were escorted to hotel rooms between the sixth and ninth floors, paying 330,000 won ($310) for sex with the hostesses.

Also on the War on Prostitution front, one of Gyeongsangnam-do’s most respected provincial assemblymen has resigned after he was busted at Changwon “ear cleaning parlor,” which often are fronts for prostitution. He claims the slogan “Ear Cleaning, Ear Massage” made him curious. The lawmaker in question had long been a critic of major projects in the region.

  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani

    This is Korea!  it doesn’t surprise me at all… you just have to look at the 101 love hotels and bars behind my apartment in “BangI-2-dong”

  • Scott N

    There are a couple of dozen places near Hoehyeon station that the police may want to check out.

  • will.i.aint

     As long as a brothel owner greases the right palms (read: police) – he should be just fine.

    It’s entirely possible that the owner of this nine story place had a falling out with the police over the amount of the payments – and that’s why he got busted.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Gee, imagine that, a hostess bar that is a front for prostitution and is located in the first floor or basement of a hotel.  I have never seen such a thing in my many years in Korea, nor would I have ever imagined it possible.

  • RElgin

    The institutionalized selling of Korean women goes on . . .

  • wangkon936

    Hummm… I understand this to be a full service institution.  Hostess bar in the lower floor and hotels in the upper floors.  From a pure capitalist perspective, one has the admire the business plan.  Provide one layer of services, and if customers want more, then you can conveniently and easily provide another category of services.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2EFEO2XXKIUQCBV5TF2E74GIEI Jason

    “The institutionalized selling of Korean women goes on . . .”How was this even “institutionalized”? It was just some privateers. 

  • RElgin

    If you do some research by talking to a real sex worker here, you will discover that sex is sold now in so many places, including places where children and their mothers frequent.  More than a few family-friendly spas have this as a side service.  Because this is so out of control and because of the attitudes of so many men here, I would say to describe this as a national institution would not be far fetched at all. You go talk to some of these women or one of these 뚜쟁이 and you will understand the context of my comment better.

    I am appalled since I have more of an idea of just how bad this situation can be for quite a few women who are groomed for this business.

  • wangkon936

    Korean women choosing a sexual trade.  I would guess that this would happen a lot less if there were more employment options for women in general in Korea.  I know I’ve said this before.  Economics.  It’s all tied to economics.  People make choices based on economic considerations.

  • que337

    Nine-story brothel would not be a place for seeking nine cloud bliss. Thanks for the amusing story of the damn lawmaker.

  • keyinjpop

    Okay but where does the happy ending come in?

  • dlbarch

    This is such an overwhelmingly domestic Korean issue that I’m reluctant to even offer any comment, except to say that I am glad to see the johns in these kinds of stories, in this case 김해연, getting their fair share of opprobrium.

    So much attention is usually focused on the girls involved in Korea’s sex trade that one forgets that there is a whole population of (usually) male buyers of these services. It’s good to see Korea tackling this issue, if for no other reason than to allow a new generation of Korean gals to come of age who don’t have to secretly acknowledge that their boyfriends, husbands, brothers, and fathers are occasional or not-so-occasional whore-mongers.


  • SomeguyinKorea

    It would also happen a lot less if the government provided adequate protection to minors.

  • SomeguyinKorea

     Not that I feel one way or another about the business.  Whatever happens between two consenting adults should stay between them…Not that it does.  One of my wife’s closest friends owns an upscale hostess bar with her husband. My wife gets all the juicy gossip. 😉

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    That’s right. If the economy offered women better opportunities, they would take them. It’s a misallocation of resources.

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

    Going to poach a quote from Wine Korea’s Joshua Hall as we were looking at the Gangnam FinanceCenter from his rooftop apartment. “That’s the landmark symbol for ajosshi sex in Seoul.”

  • R. elgin

    Not ALL women willingly choose this route.  You are miseducated in this topic.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    The majority do. Conflating the concepts of prostitution and human trafficking actually makes it harder to reach and help those who are trafficked.

  • RElgin

    P.S. This thread title is nonsense – I read this from Yonhap and chose not to blog on this topic.  Koreatimes only sucked in the newsfeed and regurgitated it.

  • SomeguyinKorea

     Two middle-aged men making fun of ajosshi’s? Ironic.

  • RElgin

    One’s reality is another’s fantasy . . . 
    sometimes I am not certain of whose world I am living inside of  ^_^

  • MoineauRouge

    The police “uncovered” this brothel? How difficult could it have been. Jeezus, you cannot walk through Gangnam between 7pm and 7am without the sidewalks being papered over with adverts for all manner of call-girls, whorehouses and “BJ bangs”.

    The only thing papered over in more layers than the sidewalks are the eyes of Korean society and the media who refuse to admit that prostitution in one form or another can be found on just about every street corner in this country.

    Whoever suggested the owner didn’t pay up with the cops is 100% correct.

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

    Ah… two middle-aged men with little sex life making fun of middle-aged men who are at least getting some.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    That’s the spirit.

  • SomeguyinKorea

     Don’t feel sorry for yourself.  Paying for it is nothing to brag about.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I just want to be able to order dessert in a g–d— Korean restaurant.  

    How would that be for a business model?

  • Cloudfive

    These stories make me wish there was a viable way to collect millions of won in tax money from these businesses and earmark it for the social welfare of the increasing elderly population. It could be a win-win solution for everyone involved. Am I naive?

  • Bob Bobbs

     ‘Upscale hostess bar.’ That’s like selling designer crack.

  • Bob Bobbs

     Except that laws on prostitution in the West are becoming more liberal. So now it’s everyone’s problem. Which generation of girls in which country doesn’t have to secretly acknowledge this? By the way, the porn industry is now bigger than Hollywood, so it’s ‘wrong’ if you pay for sex, but if you do it on camera and sell it, it’s art and people will protect your freedom of expression.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Let me guess, your experience with these kinds of establishments is limited to the ones catering to American soldiers, where the women are so unattractive they should be the ones paying.

  • wangkon936

    I wouldn’t say the majority either.  I would say a sizable percentage of Korean ladies have tired working at a bar or even as a noraebang “domi.” However, that’s very different from sexual services.

  • wangkon936

    Of all the things I understand about America, one of the few things I don’t understand is a huge, high in calorie and high in carb dessert after a huge main meal. Koreans eat fruit after a main mean. IMHO that is a lot more civilized.

    Koreans usually eat Western style desserts with coffee at coffee shops.  Want a cake in Korea? Go there.

  • Bob Bobbs

     You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    You’re misreading my words. The majority of those women who work in Korea’s “entertainment industry” do so by choice.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    What’s more civilized is having the choice.  Regardless, if I were a restaurant owner I wouldn’t leave money on the table, so to speak.