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.

There are roughly 1,800 prostitutes working in brothels across South Korea.

Sourde: Associated Press, “South Korean sex workers fight to protect brothels,” Yahoo News, July 6, 2011.

Environmental protection officials have reported that geckos native to the Philippines are being offered for sale on the black market to buyers in China and South Korea.

The tuko, as they are called in the Philippines, are being offered fro $2,300 (100,000 Philippine Pesos) for sale to buyers on websites. At that price, the buyers are expecting the geckos to weigh at least 500 grams.

In China, the geckos are used for traditional Chinese medicine, while in South Korea the geckos are bought to be used in AIDS research.

There were several websites that offered tuko for sale that were easily found by reporters. The geckos are protected under the law as an endangered species.

(Complete price list of exotic animals for sale)

In addition to the Philippines, geckos from New Zealand are on sale to buyers on the black market. Wildlife enforcement officials sated that geckos from New Zealand are taken out of the country and that are able to be sold for $1,300 (2,000 New Zealand Dollars) in Europe.

Source:  Carla P. Gomez, “Illegal wildlife traders target endemic geckos,” Inquirer, June 1, 2011.

Source:  Alanah Eriksen, “Thousands for stolen geckos on European black market,” New Zealand Herald, June 30, 2010.

There were 19 human trafficking cases investigated in Japan in 2010, down from the 28 in 2009 and the record lowest number of cases since cases have been tracked since 2001.

24 Filipinos, 12 Japanese, and 1 South Korean were found to be victims of human trafficking in Japan from those cases.

In 2009, police in Japan identified 17 victims of human trafficking. In 2005, 116 victims were found.

Source: Kyodo, “Human trafficking cases in Japan at record low in 2010,” Mainichi Daily News, February 3, 2011.


Illegal fishing off the coast of South Korea by Chinese fisherman led to 738 arrests between 2006 and 2010.

Source: Lee Tae-hoon, “Korea to toughen bail rules for illegal fishing,” Korea Times, January 20, 2011.

In 2009, there were 726 cases of illegal wildlife trade and poaching reported in South Korea.

Source: Robert Lee, “Survey favors crackdown on wildlife trade,” Korea Herald, December 27, 2010.

In 2009 and 2010, Louis Vuitton bags were the most seized counterfeit good in South Korea.

According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office, 21,454 counterfeit Louis Vuitton products were seized in 2010, followed by 9,118 counterfeit Nike products.

(More replica handbags and fake purses data.)

Source: Cathy Rose A. Garcia, “Counterfeit Vuitton bags — distorted status symbol,” Korea Times, December 21, 2010.

Source: Korea Herald, “”Louis Vuitton” No.1 fake brand in Korea,” Asia One, October 15, 2009.

From January to August 2010, government agencies in South Korea were cited over 2,600 times for using pirated software.

In 2009, over 1,900 citations were given to government offices, and around 700 cases in 2008. The increase in citations is due to an increase in monitoring software.

Most of the software piracy citations were found in regional branch offices rather then central departments.

Source: Kim Tong-hyung, “Software piracy still thriving, ” Korea Times, September 28, 2010.

Financial losses of $515 Million (4.41 Trillion Indonesian Rupiahs) occur in Indonesia every year due to the importation of counterfeit cosmetics into the country.

Fake cosmetics are the number one counterfeited product in Indonesia, with most of the counterfeit cosmetics entering the country from South Korea or China.

Source: “Bargain hunters find fake cosmetics,” Jakarta Post, September 10, 2010.

In the 2002 World Cup held in South Korea and Japan, more than 3 million World Cup counterfeit goods were seized before and during the tournament.

Source: International Authentication Association, “World Cup fakes war could be won with penalties,” Counterfeiting Confidential, April 2010.

Music piracy in South Korea dropped by 92 percent between 2008 and 2009.

Source: “Repelling the attack,” Economist, April 22, 2010.