At the top of the judicial branch is the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court as we said before. Subordinate courts include High Courts; District Courts; Branch Courts (organized under the District Courts). There are specialized courts for family and administrative issues. In addition, the military services has special courts. Both defendants and prosecutors can appeal first to the district appellate court and then to the Supreme Court. Constitutional challenges are made to the Constitutional Court.

In the mid 2000s, under the Supreme Court there were five intermediate appellate courts. Lower tribunals included 15 district courts and a family and administrative court. There are 103 municipal courts in South Korea. In the early 2000s there were three appellate courts, three district courts, and one family court. [Source: “Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations”, Thomson Gale, 2007]

The administration of justice was the function of the courts as established under the Constitution and the much-amended Court Organization Law of 1949. High Courts in Seoul, Kwangju, and Taegu hear appeals against decisions of lower courts in civil and criminal cases. They also may assume jurisdiction over litigation brought against government agencies or civil officials. Courts of first instance for most civil and criminal matters are the district courts in Seoul and major provincial cities. The Family Court in Seoul handles matrimonial, juvenile, and other family law matters; in other cities such issues are adjudicated in the district courts. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada and William Shaw, Library of Congress, 1990]

Judges and Legal Administrator in South Korea

The Supreme Court chief justice is appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly. Other justices are appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the chief justice and consent of the National Assembly. The chief justice, in consultation with the other justices of the court, appoints lower court justices. The chief justice and other justices serve six-year nonrenewable terms. Constitutional Court justices are appointed: three by the president, three by the National Assembly, and three by the Supreme Court chief justice. The Constitutional Court head serves until retirement at age 70, while other Constitutional Court justices serve six-year renewable terms with mandatory retirement at age 65. Although judges do not receive lifetime appointments, they cannot be fired for political reasons.

Judges preside over local courts and render verdicts. There were no jury trials until 2008. Cases that involve offenses punishable by the death penalty, life imprisonment, or imprisonment for more than one year are tried by three judges of a district or branch court; other cases are heard by a single judge.

Except for Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges, judges in the 1990s were appointed by the Conference of Supreme Court Justices and the chief justice. This process reverses the more centralized appointment process that had been in place since the yusin system of 1972, in which the chief justice (under the direction of the president, in practice) appointed lower court judges. All but the chief justice may be reappointed. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada and William Shaw, Library of Congress, 1990 *]

Judges were trained professionally and were among the best products of one of the toughest education systems in the world. The qualifications for a judge were the completion of two years of courses at the Judicial Research and Training Institute after passing the national judicial examination, or the possession of qualifications as a prosecutor or an attorney. Judges were members of a tiny elite; the institute had only 3,692 graduates from 1949 to 1988. In 1988 there were only 940 judges, 668 prosecutors, and 1,593 practicing attorneys. There were additional requirements for higher positions: fifteen years of legal experience for the chief justice and justices of the Supreme Court; ten years of experience for the chief judge of an appellate court, the chief judge of a district court, the chief judge of a family court, and the senior judge of an appellate court; and five years of experience for the judge of an appellate court, the senior judge of a district court, and the senior judge of a family court. South Korea's president, with the consent of the National Assembly, appointed both the chief justice and, upon the recommendation of the chief justice, the other justices of the Supreme Court. Under the 1987 Constitution and the Court Organization Law, lower justices were appointed by the chief justice with the consent of the Conference of Supreme Court Justices.*

Prosecution in South Korea

If the prosecution decides to file an indictment with the court and pursues the criminal case, a formal criminal court trial will be set. The prosecution is required to submit to the court all relevant evidence that they have gathered in the investigation. The law does not set any timeline for submitting evidence to the court. [Source: Canadian government, 2016]

Chunghee Sarah Soh wrote in “Countries and Their Cultures”: “Public prosecutors and the police are authorized to conduct investigations of criminal acts, but theoretically, police authority to investigate criminal acts is subject to the direction and. review of prosecutors. The National Police Agency is under the authority of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, while the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office, the penal administration, and other legal affairs are supervised by the Ministry of Justice. The supreme prosecutor general is appointed by the president. [Source: Chunghee Sarah Soh, “Countries and Their Cultures”, The Gale Group Inc., 2001]

The public prosecutor initiated legal action. The name of the accused, the alleged crime, the alleged facts of the case, and the applicable laws were stated in the indictment. The prosecutor had significant discretionary power to decide not to bring the case to court based on his interpretation of the law and evidence, or in consideration of a suspect's age, character, motive, or other circumstances, even though a crime had been committed. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada and William Shaw, Library of Congress, 1990 *]

Prosecutors normally indicted only when they accumulated what they considered overwhelming evidence of a suspect's guilt. The courts, historically, were predisposed to accept the allegations of fact in an indictment. This predisposition was reflected in both the low acquittal rate — less than 0.5 percent — in criminal cases and in the frequent verbatim repetition of the indictment as the judgment. The principle of "innocent until proven guilty" applied in practice much more to the pre-indictment investigation than to the actual trial.*

During the 1980s, there was a dispute within the legal system over the judiciary's power to check prosecution. The prosecution and judiciary differed over whether or not the law gave the judiciary grounds to arraign suspects before issuing warrants. The judiciary tried repeatedly in the 1980s to institutionalize this right and in 1989 asserted it in a proceeding. The judiciary was not able to compel the prosecution to accept this view, however. At the prosecutor's discretion, a case could be brought before the court by summary indictment if the offense were punishable by fines. In such a case, the judge gave a summary judgment without holding a public hearing. The accused could request an ordinary trial.*

Trials Without Juries in South Korea

There was no jury system in South Korea until 2008. Cases that involved offenses punishable by the death penalty, life imprisonment, or imprisonment for not less than one year were tried by three judges of a district or branch court. The remaining cases were heard by a single judge. Political and criminal cases were tried by the same courts; military courts did not try civilians except under martial law. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada and William Shaw, Library of Congress, 1990 *]

At least five days before trial, the defendant was served a copy of the indictment. The defendant had to be represented by counsel if the offenses were punishable by death or imprisonment for more than three years. The court appointed defense counsel if the defendant was unable to do so because of age, mental capacity, poverty, or other handicaps that might impair choice or communication.*

Hearings generally were open to the public. If danger to national security or prejudice to public peace or good morals were involved, the judge could close the proceedings. Charges against defendants in the courts were declared publicly. Trial documents, however, were not part of the public record. In lengthy and complex indictments, the relationship between specific alleged actions and violations of specific sections of the penal code could become unclear. In cases involving a mixture of political and criminal charges, this situation at times led to charges of unfair proceedings. A defendant had the right to remain silent and free from physical restraint in the courtroom. Judges generally allowed considerable scope for the examination of witnesses.*

Either the defendant or the prosecutor could appeal a judgment on the basis of law or fact. Appeals could result in reduced or increased sentences. A Constitution Court was established in 1988 to relieve the burden on the Supreme Court (see The Judiciary , ch. 4). When the constitutionality of a law was at issue in a trial, the Supreme Court requested a decision of the Constitution Court. The president, chief justice, and the National Assembly each named three members of the nine-member Constitution Court.*

The Supreme Court retained the power to make final review of the constitutionality or legality of administrative decrees, regulations, or actions when at issue in a trial. Grounds for an appeal to the Supreme Court were limited by the Code of Criminal Procedure to violation of the Constitution, law, or regulation material to the judgment; abolition, alteration, or pardon of penalty; a grave mistake in factfinding; or extreme impropriety in sentencing. An interpretation of law in an appeal had binding effect on the inferior court only when the case was remanded. In other cases, however, a decision of the Supreme Court only had persuasive effect.*

Trial Procedures in South Korea

The first trial is normally held within two to four weeks of the prosecution filing the indictment. You may be detained until the first court appearance of the trial. If you wish to have access to these documents or believe that information is missing, your lawyer may be able to advise you on the most appropriate options available to you. [Source: Canadian government, 2016]

Although bail is not common in the South Korean legal system, you have the right to seek it. Bail is rarely granted for people who are accused of serious crimes or foreigners charged with felonies. The bond for bail is usually paid in cash only. The amount will be set by the court. You should ask your lawyer about how bail may apply to your circumstances. The criminal trial

In South Korea, trials are conducted both in writing and orally. Witnesses give testimony either live during a trial session or in writing submitted to the court. The lawyers for both sides also present their arguments to the court both orally and in writing, by submitting legal briefs. Foreigners are entitled to an interpreter throughout the trial. If an interpreter has not yet been appointed, you should request one.

In South Korea, there are usually several hearings: the trial does not occur in one or two sittings, but in many sessions. For a foreigner who is charged with drug offences or felonies, for example, there are usually one to three trial dates to go over the case. The length of time your case is before the court will depend in part on the number of other cases before this court. Since trial dates are generally at least two to three weeks apart, the case may last for several months. If you are not detained during the trial, the trial dates are usually four weeks apart. In the event you confess to the crime(s), the trial is usually limited to one session. A verdict is typically rendered within a month of the final trial date, though it may take longer in some cases. [Source: Canadian government, 2016]

Reforms of Trial Procedures in South Korea

The 2007 Revision of the Korean Criminal Procedure Code changed the lay out of a courtroom and the way proceedings were carried out. . Kuk Cho wrote in the Journal of Korean Law: Before the revision, the prosecutor and defense attorney sat facing each other, while the defendant was separated from his or her counsel and located in front of the bench facing the judges. This setup implied that the defendant was not an adversarial party equal to prosecutor and that the defendant was no than the object of the trial. It also prevented the defendant from consulting with his or her counsel. The 2007 revision moves defendant’s seat next to that of his or her defense attorney. [Source: Kuk Cho, Journal of Korean Law, December 2008]

“The 2007 revision stipulates two leading principles for trial process. The first is “the principle of concentrated trial” to prevent the delay of trial. According to the principle, except in the case of unavoidable circumstances a trial should be consecutively open everyday if more than two days are necessary for the trial. The second is “the principle of oral pleadings.” This principle is meant to overcome the phenomenon of “trial by dossiers” in which truth-finding depends heavily on the dossiers submitted by parties rather than on cross-examinations by the parties in the courtroom.

“The 2007 revision makes the questioning of a defendant available only after the investigation of evidence. Before the revision the questioning of a defendant was initiated by the prosecutor and defense attorney consecutively before the investigation of evidence. This procedure was criticized for making the focus of trials mainly the statements of defendants rather than evidence. Article 296-2 of the CPC, thus, moves such questioning after the investigation of evidence. So the statements of a witness or a victim or the results of scientific investigations, for example, will be examined before the defendant is questioned. If a presiding judge permits it, however, the question may be given to the defendant even before the investigation of evidence.

“The 2007 revision adopts a sanction system to ensure the attendance of a witness during a trial. Article 150-2 imposes “a duty of reasonable efforts to make a witness attend in a trial” on the party who has requested the witness. Article 151 provides much heavier sanctions on witnesses who do not attend for no justifiable reason. Such a witness must pay the trial costs resulting from his or her non-attendance, and a fine of up to 5,000,000 Won (currently equivalent to about US$3,600) may be imposed on him or her. If the witness does not attend for no justifiable reason despite these sanctions, he or she may be put into jail for up to seven days.

Jury Trials in South Korea

The jury system (“people’s participatory system”) was introduced to South Korea in January 2008 but judges are not bound by juries’ verdicts or opinions. In criminal cases, a defendant may be tried by a jury or by a judge. The defendant has the right to be tried by a jury in criminal cases only, but has to file a motion for jury trial prior to the commencement of the court’s first trial session. If the defendant does not petition for jury trial, then jury trial will not be held. The Korean jury system is significantly different from the common law system. Therefore, you may wish to consult with a lawyer regarding whether a jury trial or judge-led trial is most appropriate for your matter. [Source: Canadian government, 2016]

Kuk Cho wrote in the Journal of Korean Law: The number of jurors used varies according to the case. The number is nine in cases where capital punishment or life imprisonment may be given to the defendant; five in cases in which the defendants admit to being guilty; and seven in all other cases.79) Judges can conduct voir dire to check the entitlement and capability of the juror candidates. [Source: Kuk Cho, Journal of Korean Law, December 2008]

Jae-Hyup Lee, Professor at Seoul National University School of Law, wrote: The Korean jury trial is limited to certain type of criminal cases and is only invoked upon the defendant’s choice. The Act specifies the scope of the jury trial as murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, bribery, kidnapping, and crimes involving narcotics. It also leaves some room for flexible application because additional criminal cases being tried by the three-judge panels, as specified in the Supreme Court Rule on Civil Participation in Criminal Trials [“Gukminui hyeongsajaepan chamyeo e gwanhan gyuchik”], may also be tried by jury. [Source: Jae-Hyup Lee, Professor, Seoul National University School of Law, “Korean Jury Trial: Has the New System Brought About Changes?” Asia-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, 2009]

The Korean jury system incorporates elements of both the U.S.-style system and the German lay assessor system to assess the actual experience of citizen participation in trials during the initial five year experimental phase. The new jury system, even if in a very limited scope, is expected to bring about fundamental changes in judicial decision-making in Korea, which has traditionally been managed only by professional judges. The jury trial in Korea will also change the way criminal trial proceedings are conducted in general. It is also expected to create more sophisticated evidentiary rules for criminal trials

Others have argued that the general public lacks the “legal frame of mind” and a dispute-averse, harmony-oriented cultural tradition might be incompatible with a jury system. However, many legal practitioners who are involved in the jury trials have witnessed positive effects of the new system with regard to the behavior of the public prosecutor and the judge and perceived a heightened general awareness of the rule of law in the public. The success of the jury system requires the people’s support and respect for jury verdicts.

Background Behind Jury Trials in South Korea

Professor Jae-Hyup Lee wrote: Civil participation in judicial decision-making in Korea never materialized until the early 21st century. The adoption of the jury system was mainly driven by participatory democratic concerns. Jury system and legal educational reform were the two most important goals of the judicial reform movement during the Roh Moo Hyun administration (2003-2008), known as the “Government of Participation.” Concern over professional judges’ dogmatic judgment and their monopoly on fact-finding motivated the introduction of the new jury system. [Source: Jae-Hyup Lee, Professor, Seoul National University School of Law, “Korean Jury Trial: Has the New System Brought About Changes?” Asia-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, 2009]

“The two main purposes of the new system, as reflected in the Act for Civil Participation in Criminal Trials [“Gukminui hyeongsajaepan chamyeoe gwanhan beopryul”] (the “Act”), are to reinforce the democratic legitimacy of the judicial process and to enhance the transparency and credibility of the judiciary. In terms of actual change in practice, these two legislative purposes come down to issues of a more open process for criminal trials and more opportunity for parties to advocate and develop evidence-based arguments during court proceedings. The Act was promulgated in conjunction with the recent major revision of the Criminal Procedure Code, which aims to enhance due process and public criminal trial principles. In essence, the jury trial is the de facto test case for fully materializing CPC principles. For instance, the court must hold a pretrial preparatory conference if the defendant chooses a jury trial because the preparatory conference is regarded as a very important feature of the jury system.

A jury trial specifically provides parties the opportunity to participate in oral argument, in contrast to the trial by dossiers” [joseojaepan] (in which truth-finding depends heavily on the dossiers submitted by the public prosecutor rather than on crossexaminations in the courtroom). The jury system was brought about to enhance concentrated reviews by the court. Prior to the new rules under the CPC, the court conducted proceedings in a series of separate sessions in two-week intervals. Under the new rules, a trial should be held on consecutive days if it requires two or more days to complete, except in the case of unavoidable circumstance. The jury system is expected to significantly change the communicative dynamics of the courtroom. The existing system of contention and arguments projected toward the bench will be changed to a system in which the parties present their cases to the jury in a lucid way that is easy for the lay jurors to comprehend. Naturally, the whole process and the legal language spoken at trial must be streamlined and refined.

Early Evaluation of Jury Trials in South Korea

Professor Jae-Hyup Lee wrote: Depending on the social demand and the accumulated experiences in the jury trial, the number of cases will be adjusted. Proponents of the reform movement expected 100 to 200 trials would be held per year. Although the first year did not meet that expectation, the number of jury trials in the second year increased by 50 percent. Between January 1 and December 31, 2009, 569 jury trials were filed and 159 cases (27.9 percent) were tried. Among the jury trial cases filed, the defendant withdrew the request for a jury trial in 228 cases, and the court denied the request in 136 cases. In most cases (76.5 percent) of the court’s denial, the court determined the case was not appropriate to be tried by jury. [Source: Jae-Hyup Lee, Professor, Seoul National University School of Law, “Korean Jury Trial: Has the New System Brought About Changes?” Asia-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, 2009]

No single case was denied because jurors or juror candidates, or because their families or relatives feared possible danger to their life, liberty, or property, although this aspect worried the court the most. Based on the survey of the defendants the Supreme Court conducted in May 2009, defendants who did not request a jury trial answered that they did not know of the jury trial system at all (40.3 percent) or that they were aware of the system but did not know it in detail (44.5 percent). Among these people, 16.7 percent answered that they would have requested a jury trial had they known the system. About 9.2 percent of the defendants who did not request a jury trial believed that judges generally dislike jury trials, so they expected unfavorable results. The three most common crimes that were tried by jury were murder (27 percent), bodily injury resulting from robbery (21.4 percent), and sexual offense (17 percent).

Among the 18 district courts around the country in which an exclusive jury trial division was established, jury trials were actively held outside the Seoul Metropolitan Area. The Supreme Court maintains a policy of speedy trials in order to minimize the social costs associated with the jury trial. The court also seemed to exclude complex cases with many witnesses during the initial phase of the experimental years. In addition, the jurors reportedly preferred deliberating in late hours instead of attending the court in multiple days. As a result, the majority of cases (88.1 percent) were concluded in a single day in court, beginning with voir dire and ending with the jury verdict. No case was held for three days or more.

Jurors in South Korean Jury Trials

Professor Jae-Hyup Lee wrote: While this practice is understandable given cost considerations and jurors’ deliberation preferences, it is sometimes criticized for being too hasty.31 On average, jury trials resolved cases relatively sooner than bench trials from the date of filing to the jury verdict (84.9 days and 88.2 days respectively). Jury delinquency has not been a serious problem, although only 31.1 percent of the jurors summoned were present in voir dire. If unreachable jurors and cancelled cases are not counted, the real attendance rate was 57.8 percent. [Source: Jae-Hyup Lee, Professor, Seoul National University School of Law, “Korean Jury Trial: Has the New System Brought About Changes?” Asia-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, 2009]

The average number of juror candidates summoned per trial was 116, and the average number of juror candidates attending the jury selection per trial was 35.9. At the end of the voir dire, nine jurors were most frequently selected (45.3 percent), whereas seven jurors were selected in 38.4 percent and five jurors were selected in 16.4 percent of the cases. An average of 5.4 juror candidates per case has been peremptorily challenged during voir dire. In only 13.8 percent of the cases, the prosecution and the defense used up all allotted peremptory challenges. The peremptory challenges were most frequently exercised in sexual offense (an average of 6.9). Very few (0.43 per case) were challenged for cause. In 70 percent of the cases, the challenges for cause were never exercised.

The actual selected jurors were well distributed in terms of sex, age, and social groups: 31.5 percent office workers; 15.5 percent small business owners; 18.3 percent housewives; 7.6 percent students; and 27.1 percent others. Women formed 47.8 percent of jurors. People in their 50’s and over formed the highest proportion of jurors (30.7 percent), followed by the 30’s (26.5 percent), the 40’s (25.6 percent), and the 20’s (17.4 percent).

Verdicts and Sentencing in South Korean Trials

If you are found guilty in a South Korean trial, the possible outcomes include: 1) a penalty or a fine; 2) a prison sentence; or 3) probation. If a verdict results in a prison sentence, the time you have already spent in prison counts toward the fulfillment of the sentence. You have the right to appeal the sentence within seven days of the announcement of the verdict, as does the prosecutor. You should consult your lawyer before filing an appeal. If you are declared not guilty, you will usually be released on the same day after returning to the detention centre to clear administrative matters and recover personal belongings. Since the prosecutor still has a right to appeal this verdict, foreign defendants are often not permitted to leave South Korea until the appeal period has passed, or until the case is finalized in the appeals process. [Source: Canadian government, 2016]

In regard to jury cases, Professor Jae-Hyup Lee wrote: The average length of the jury deliberation was between 30 minutes and 210 minutes. Relatively shorter time was spent when there were fewer jurors, as well as cases where the defendant admitted guilt. The judge agreed with the jury and adopted their verdict as the official judgment in 90.6 percent of the cases. Among the 15 mismatched cases, in 13 cases, the jury verdict was not guilty and the judge’s verdict was guilty. In one case where the verdict and the ruling did not match, the higher court reversed the conviction of the lower court. Recently, the Supreme Court reversed a High Court decision to reverse an acquittal verdict supported by the judgment of the trial court jury and judge. The Supreme Court ruled that the High Court must defer to the judgment of the trial court unless new clear, sufficient, and convincing contradictory evidence appears. This decision signals that a very stringent standard will apply to the High Court for reversing a trial court judgment where both the jury and the judge acquitted the defendant. [Source: Jae-Hyup Lee, Professor, Seoul National University School of Law, “Korean Jury Trial: Has the New System Brought About Changes?” Asia-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, 2009]

More than half of the cases (56.1 percent) were appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court, where almost all the appeals were dismissed. Based on a post-trial survey, most jurors (95.1 percent) were generally satisfied with the jury trial system, especially with the open trial proceeding. A majority of jurors (87.3 percent) said that they understood all or most of the trial procedure. The most frequently mentioned difficulties were the length of the trial (50 percent) and the difficulty understanding legalese (21.8 percent). Most jurors reported that they focused attentively during the trial and actively expressed their opinions during deliberation. A majority (69 percent) found the given jury instruction to be helpful.

Professor Jae-Hyup Lee wrote: Regarding sentencing, relatively small gaps were found between the majority opinion of the juries and the sentencing judgment. In 93.1 percent of the cases, the majority of sentencing opinions of the jury and the sentencing judgment did not differ much – two years at most. Between July 1, 2009, when the sentencing guideline took effect, and March 31, 2010, there were 38 jury trials that were subject to the sentencing guideline. Among them, the jury’s sentencing opinion and the sentencing guideline concurred in 35 cases. Notable is the fact that the judge’s sentencing judgments were closer to the jury’s sentencing opinions than the sentencing guideline. Where the jury’s sentencing opinion and the sentencing guideline differed, the court’s sentencing judgment took the same direction (either upward or downward from the sentencing guideline) with the jury’s sentencing opinion in all cases. A relatively high rate (87.4 percent) of appeal to higher courts was observed. The prosecution appealed the case in 58.5 percent of cases. The rate of appeal by the prosecution is much higher than non-jury trials (21.2 percent) of the same criminal charges. This is due to the higher acquittal rate of jury trials. On appeal, the High Court dismissed the appeal in 72.1 percent of the cases, whereas it revered the trial court judgment in 27.9 percent. The appeal decisions of the High Court differ from trial courts in 22.1 percent of the cases.

Juries participated only in sentencing about twenty-nine percent (28.9 percent) of the time, as the defendant had already admitted guilt. The number of cases where the defendant did not admit guilt increased slightly from 28.1 percent in 2008 to 29.5 percent in 2009.41 In a majority of cases (91.2 percent), the jury found the defendants guilty. This acquittal rate is slightly lower than the non-jury three-judge panel criminal cases (97 percent). State-appointed counsel [gukseon byeonhosa] represented defendants in 86.2 percent of the cases. This figure is much higher than the three-judge panel non-jury criminal trials (57 percent) during the same period. Under the Act, a criminal jury trial requires defense counsel, so if the defendant cannot retain a lawyer, the court must appoint one ex officio. In 2006, the Supreme Court established a roster of standing members of state-appointed counsels [gukseonjeondam byeonhosa] who exclusively take such cases; these Korean-style public defenders have taken many jury trial cases. Korean jurors deliberate in secret. They first discuss the guilt of the defendant and try to reach a unanimous verdict. If the jurors cannot reach a unanimous verdict, then they must hear the judges’ opinion. After the judges and the jurors have discussed the guilt of the defendant together, the jurors, again without the presence of the judges, enter a verdict based on a simple majority. Korean jurors discuss the sentence with the judge and submit their opinion. The presiding judge explains to the jurors the scope of punishment and the condition for sentencing before deliberation begins.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons.

Text Sources: South Korean government websites, Korea Tourism Organization, Cultural Heritage Administration, Republic of Korea, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Library of Congress, CIA World Factbook, World Bank, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, “Culture and Customs of Korea” by Donald N. Clark, Chunghee Sarah Soh in “Countries and Their Cultures”, “Columbia Encyclopedia”, Korea Times, Korea Herald, The Hankyoreh, JoongAng Daily, Radio Free Asia, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, AFP, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in July 2021

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