Updated July.3,2005 21:01 KST

Korean Sex Workers Look for Greener Pastures
A website setting up Korean women who want to work as prostitutes overseas with foreign pimps shows the picture of a woman looking for work in Japan and an advertisement for sex workers in the U.S. and Japan.

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Korean sex workers are moving abroad after new anti-prostitution laws made the world¡¯s oldest profession more difficult at home, police say.

They are heading for the U.S., Canada and Australia, but some settle for countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan better known for export rather than import of sex workers. In North America, they apparently work in smaller cities and towns as well as big urban centers like Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and Toronto. Hong Kong and Europe have recently been added to the list of destinations.

¡°It seems that since the Special Law on Prostitution went into effect, the number of pimps and prostitutes going abroad is skyrocketing,¡± a police officer said. ¡°But we don¡¯t have the full picture since most leave the country ostensibly for tourism.¡±

Dedicated web groups are awash with advertisements drawing prostitutes abroad. A typical post on one such site boasting no fewer than 1,430 members - cafe.daum.net/zonesogeso - read, ¡°We know that in Korea these days, unemployment, the recession and the Special Law on Prostitution make it hard to earn even half of what you made before. Try a new start in the U.S. W8-10 million a month in a bar, W18-24 million a month in a massage parlor guaranteed. Advances possible. We take care of visas and bad credit.¡±

There are dozens of groups on the Internet portal site Daum that hook up women looking for work abroad with pimps in the U.S., Japan and Australia.

Most of the sites require detailed member registration. To join one group (cafe.daum.net/goldgold486) with 320 members, applicants must indicate their height, age, weight and work experience and upload a genuine photograph.

(englishnews@chosun.com )