Monday, September 16, 2002

Korea Herald

Foreign-based Korean-language porn sites flourishing

The number of Korean-language pornographic Web sites operating overseas has shot up nearly 50 times over the past one and a half years, the prosecution said yesterday.

As of the end of August, 202 foreign-based Korean-language porn sites were in service, compared to less than half a dozen in January last year, it said.

About 90 percent of the sites are presumed to be based in Los Angeles, where many overseas Koreans live, and many of them are in operation with almost no regulation by U.S. authorities, the prosecution said.

Some of the sites even offer real-time sex scenes and hire Korean X- rated film producers in a bid to lure Korean Internet users, it said.

The dramatic rise in the number of overseas Korean-language pornographic sites is attributed to a stricter regulation of online pornography in Korea.

"After the prosecution started a crackdown on sexually explicit online materials, many of those who sell pornography on the Internet have gone to foreign countries," a prosecution official said.

That's because they can trade obscene pictures and videos — with the exclusion of child pornography — in the United States and most foreign countries, he said.

The official said the prosecution has difficulty in tracking the foreign-based Korean-language online pornography because of limitations regarding its jurisdiction.

"However, an investigation is under way on site operators who actually live in Korea and post obscene materials on their foreign-based sites," he said.

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