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Does Korea have high crime rates?


Korea is a country known for its rich culture, delicious food, and technological advancements. However, like any other country, crime is also prevalent in Korea. In this article, we will delve into the question of whether Korea has high crime rates or not.

Types of Crimes in Korea

Like any other country, Korea also has its share of crimes. The most common types of crimes in Korea include theft, assault, domestic violence, and drug-related offenses.

Crime Statistics in Korea

According to the National Police Agency of Korea, the total number of reported crimes in 2020 was 1,229,163. This figure represents a decrease of 10.8% compared to 2019. In terms of crime rate per 100,000 population, the figure was 2,386 in 2020.

Korea Compared to Other Countries

Compared to other countries around the world, Korea’s crime rate is relatively low. According to the Global Peace Index 2021 report, Korea ranks 33rd out of 163 countries in terms of safety and security.

Reasons for Low Crime Rates

There are several reasons why Korea has a relatively low crime rate. One reason is the strong law enforcement system in the country. The police force is well-trained and equipped to handle any criminal activity. Another reason is the strong sense of community and social responsibility among Koreans.

High-Profile Crimes in Korea

Although the overall crime rate in Korea is relatively low, there have been some high-profile crimes that have garnered public attention. These include incidents such as the murder of a young woman in a public restroom by a stranger and the recent spate of sexual harassment cases involving high-profile figures.

Domestic Violence in Korea

Domestic violence is a prevalent issue in Korea. According to a report by the Korean Women’s Development Institute, approximately 16% of married women in Korea experience domestic violence.

Sex Crimes in Korea

Sex crimes are also a major concern in Korea. The Me Too movement gained momentum in Korea in 2018, shedding light on the widespread sexual harassment and assault that women face in the workplace.

Drug-Related Crimes in Korea

Drug-related crimes are also a concern in Korea. The country has strict drug laws, and possession or use of drugs can result in severe penalties, including long prison sentences.

Government Efforts to Combat Crime

The Korean government has implemented various measures to combat crime. These include increasing the number of police officers, installing CCTV cameras in public areas, and strengthening laws related to sexual harassment and assault.

The Role of Citizens in Crime Prevention

Citizens also play a vital role in preventing crime in Korea. The government encourages citizens to report any suspicious activity they witness and to be vigilant about their surroundings.


In conclusion, while Korea does have its share of crimes like any other country, the overall crime rate is relatively low. The strong law enforcement system, sense of community, and government efforts to combat crime have all contributed to this. However, there are still concerns regarding domestic violence, sex crimes, and drug-related offenses that need to be addressed. It is important for citizens to continue playing an active role in preventing crime and promoting a safe and secure society.

Is South Korea safer than the US?

Visiting South Korea is a safe option as it boasts crime rates lower than the US and similar to most European nations, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. This implies that tourists can walk around at night in larger cities without any worry. Furthermore, the occurrence of violent crime is very rare.

Is Seoul safe at night?

Before going out at night in Seoul, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure your safety. The city is generally safe and the busy streets in popular districts mean you’re unlikely to be completely alone.

Is it safe for Americans to live in Korea?

When living and working in South Korea for a year, as long as one uses common sense, they will be very safe. Although there may be different concerns regarding natural disasters and traffic, they are not excessive or unusual, and the risks are quite minimal.

Is Korea safe for Americans?

Is it safe to visit South Korea? Yes, South Korea is considered to be a very safe destination for travelers. Visitors often comment on the cleanliness of the streets, the welcoming nature of the locals, and the low incidence of crime – particularly when it comes to crimes against foreigners.

Is Seoul safe for American tourists?

In general, South Korea is a safe country for visitors. However, it is important to be cautious in highly populated areas, popular tourist attractions, and crowded markets where common crimes can occur more frequently. Be sure to take necessary safety measures and be aware of your surroundings. This information was last updated on January 26th, 2023.

Do a lot of Americans live in South Korea?

As of 2021, the number of US citizens residing in South Korea was approximately 57.8 thousand, which is a decrease from the previous year’s figure of 59.7 thousand. This data was reported on August 5, 2022.

One of the unique aspects of the Korean criminal justice system is the use of “public shaming” as a form of punishment for some offenses. This involves the offender being publicly humiliated by wearing a sign or uniform indicating their offense and performing community service.

Another issue that contributes to crime in Korea is the high level of stress and pressure faced by many individuals, particularly students and employees. This can lead to mental health issues and even suicide, which is a serious concern in Korea. Addressing these underlying societal issues can also help reduce crime rates in the long term.

In recent years, there has been an increase in cybercrime in Korea, particularly related to online fraud and hacking. The government has been taking steps to address this issue by strengthening cyber security laws and increasing resources for law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cybercriminals.

Overall, while Korea’s crime rate may be relatively low compared to other countries, there are still areas that require attention and improvement. By continuing to address these issues and work towards a safer society, Korea can continue to thrive as a global leader in culture, technology, and innovation.

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