South Korea Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from South Korea’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

In 2010, South Korean authorities seized 8,200 grams of foreign-produced methamphetamine within the country. Of that total, around 57 percent of the illicit drugs originated from China. Law enforcement believe that a large portion of the drugs were trafficked through North Korea on its way towards South Korea.

(Latest meth addiction and trafficking facts.)

Source:  Kim Young-Jin, “North Korea feared to flood South with drugs,” Korea Times, February 8, 2012.

The Government of South Korea estimates that there are at least 1,000 South Korean women working in the prostitution industry in Australia. Authorities believe that many of them are victims of human trafficking.

(Additional prostitution statistics.)

Source:  Nick Tabakoff, “Korea’s sex call – dob in our prostitutes,” Telegraph, February 6, 2012.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported in 2011 that methamphetamine was the most widely used drug in the following Asian countries:

Brunei, Cambodia, Japan, Laos, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand.

(See more meth addiction facts and statistics.)

Source:  Andrew R.C. Marshall, “Special Report: In Mekong, Chinese murders and bloody diplomacy,” Reuters, January 27, 2012.


There are an estimated 1,000 women from South Korea who are working in the prostitution industry in Australia, according to a South Korean government official.

Source: “S. Korea, Australia seek to crack down on prostitution,” Yonhap, November 14, 2011. 

Between 2007 and August 2011, the South Korean Coast Guard apprehended 1,887 Chinese boats that was illegally fishing in South Korean waters. The boats were fined a total of $23 Million for their illegal fishing, with each boat being fined an average of $25,183 to $50,367.

Source: “Chinese Vessels Fined USs$23 Million For Illegal Fishing – Report,” Bernama, October 4, 2011.

The number of people who have been arrested for organ trafficking in South Korea decreased over 4 years.

  • 71 people were arrested in 2007.
  • 18 people were arrested in 2008.
  • 9 people were arrested in 2009.
  • 3 people were arrested in 2010.

In the first six months of 2011, police arrested 1 person on charges of organ trafficking.

Despite the decreasing number of arrests, South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 357 reports of messages for potential organ sales on the Internet in the first 6 months of 2011, higher then the total 174 messages for organs found in 2010.

Source: Kim Tae-jong, “Organ trafficking increasing,” Korea Times, September 16, 2011.

During the summer of 2011, Customs in South Korea caught 5,385 people attempting to smuggle more luxury purses into the country that is allowed under duty-free limits. The number of smugglers caught between July 18 and then end of August was 18 percent higher then the number  of people caught in 2010.

The most popular luxury bag smuggled was Chanel, followed by Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Prada and Hermes.  A government report back in 2008 reported that Chanel was the most counterfeited bag in South Korea as well.

Source: “Incheon Customs Catch More Luxury Goods Smugglers,” Chosum Ilbo, September 5, 2011.

In the first half of 2011, Louis Vuitton was the most seized counterfeit good in South Korea.

1,232 counterfeit Louis Vuitton items were seized in the first six months of 2011, followed by LeSportsac, Chanel, Gucci and Nike.

LeSportsac had the most fake handbags seized, with 1,180 counterfeit bags seized by authorities. 257 counterfeit Louis Vuitton purses was seized during the time period.

Source: “Louis Vuitton Knockoffs Most Favored in Korea,” Chosun Ilbo, July 14, 2011.

A broker who arranges people to be smuggled out of North Korea and into China and South Korea told the BBC that she earns between $2,000 to $3,000 a month.

(More illegal, criminal jobs income.)

Source:  Lucy Williamson, “Shadowy world of Korea’s people smugglers,” BBC News, July 6, 2011.

According to a woman attempting to smuggle her family into South Korea from North Korea, the reported price was $3,500 from North Korea into China and an additional $2,500 to bring the person into South Korea.

Source: Lucy Williamson, “Shadowy world of Korea’s people smugglers,” BBC News, July 6, 2011.