More Koreans Seek Foreign Spouse For 2nd Marriage

Korea Herald (Seoul), December 4, 2009

More Koreans opted for foreign spouses when marrying for the second time, the national statistical office said yesterday.

According to Statistics Korea, the number of Korean men who married foreign women stood at 28,163 last year, more than quadruple the number nine years ago. Of them, 9,930, or 35 percent, were remarried, up from 24.6 percent back in 2000.

The percentage of Korean women remarrying foreign husbands also increased from 36.4 percent in 2000 to 41.5 percent last year. In 2008, a total of 8,041 Korean women married foreign men, up 72.6 percent over the cited period.

The statistics agency also indicated that there were some differences in the nationalities of foreign husbands and wives.

Nearly 60 percent of Korean men married Chinese women for the second time, followed by those marrying women from Vietnam and the Philippines. Meanwhile, Korean women chose men from Japan (40.9 percent), China (38 percent) and the United States (8.5 percent) for their second marriage.

“Korean men preferred women from China or other Southeast Asian countries after their failed first marriage, while Korean women chose men from developed countries such as Japan and the United States,” said an official at the agency.

According to the Korea Immigration Service, there were a total of 126,000 married immigrants without Korean citizenship as of June.

As more Korean men who engage in farming or work at factories seek their wives abroad, the number of foreign wives was 110,000, more than seven times that of foreign husbands.

In a survey issued in August, Chinese nationals made up the largest portion (54 percent) of the married immigrants here. Of them, 34,000 were of Korean descent.

The second most was Vietnamese with 29,000, followed by Filipinos with 6,200, Japanese with 4,900, Cambodians with 2,800, Mongolians with 2,300 and Americans with 1,500.

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