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How old is a minor in Korea?

The Legal Definition of a Minor in Korea

In Korea, the legal definition of a minor is anyone under the age of 19. This means that anyone under the age of 19 is not considered an adult and is therefore subject to certain restrictions and protections under Korean law.

Legal Rights of Minors in Korea

As minors in Korea, individuals have certain rights that are protected by law. For example, they have the right to receive an education and are protected from child labor laws. They also have the right to be protected from abuse, exploitation, and neglect.

Age Restrictions for Certain Activities

There are certain activities in Korea that minors are restricted from participating in until they reach a certain age. For example, individuals must be at least 16 years old to obtain a driver’s license and at least 18 years old to purchase tobacco or alcohol.

Legal Responsibilities of Minors in Korea

While minors in Korea have certain legal protections, they also have legal responsibilities. For example, they can be held responsible for any crimes they commit and can be sued for damages. They can also be held accountable for any contracts they enter into.

Changes to the Age of Majority in Korea

In 2021, the age of majority in Korea will change from 19 to 18. This means that individuals who are 18 years old will be considered adults under Korean law and will have all the rights and responsibilities that come with adulthood.

International Age Standards

The age of majority varies from country to country, but there are some international standards that are widely recognized. For example, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as anyone under the age of 18.

Cultural Attitudes Towards Age

In Korean culture, age is an important factor in social interactions. Respect for elders is a key value, and individuals are often addressed by their age rather than their name. This cultural emphasis on age may influence attitudes towards minors and their legal status.

Protecting the Rights of Minors

Despite legal protections for minors in Korea, there are still concerns about the welfare of children and young people. Organizations such as the Korean National Child Protection Agency work to protect the rights and well-being of minors and promote child welfare.

Challenges Faced by Minors in Korea

Minors in Korea face a range of challenges, including social pressures, academic stress, and mental health issues. These challenges can be exacerbated by cultural attitudes towards age and the pressures of a competitive society.

Supporting Minors in Korea

To support minors in Korea, there are various resources available. These include counseling services, youth centers, and educational programs. Additionally, parents and guardians play an important role in providing emotional and practical support.

The Importance of Understanding Age Definitions

Understanding age definitions is important for both individuals and society as a whole. It can help ensure that individuals are aware of their rights and responsibilities, and can help prevent misunderstandings and conflict.


In Korea, the legal definition of a minor is anyone under the age of 19. While minors have certain legal protections, they also have responsibilities and restrictions on certain activities until they reach a certain age. The changing age of majority in 2021 reflects evolving attitudes towards adulthood. Cultural attitudes towards age can influence attitudes towards minors, but organizations work to protect their rights and well-being. Supporting minors requires resources and understanding of the challenges they face. Overall, understanding age definitions is important for ensuring the rights and well-being of all individuals in society.

Are you a minor at 18 in Korea?

The minimum age requirement for legal activities in Korea is 19.

How old would a 17 year old be in Korean?

The article “How to Say Your Age in Korean” was updated in 2023 and provides a list of ages in Korean corresponding to birth years. The list includes ages ranging from 16 to 100 years old, with the corresponding Korean phrases for each age.

Is 16 and 18 legal in Korea?

South Korea’s age of consent means that those who are 19 years old or younger are not considered able to give legally binding consent to sexual activity. Engaging in such activity may lead to charges of statutory rape or similar offenses under local laws.

Is 16 a minor in Korea?

In Korea, someone becomes a legal adult at the age of 19 according to international age standards (not Korean age). Therefore, once a person turns 19, they are considered an adult.

Is 19 still minor in South Korea?

In Taiwan and Thailand, anyone under the age of 20 is considered a minor, while in South Korea, a person under 19 years old is considered a minor.

What is Japan’s age of consent?

A panel from the Japanese justice ministry suggested increasing the age of consent from 13 to 16, as it is currently the lowest among the Group of Seven (G7) countries and has remained the same for over a hundred years. This proposal was made on February 22, 2023.

In addition to legal protections, minors in Korea also have access to various social welfare programs. These programs aim to promote the health and well-being of children, and may include financial assistance for low-income families, healthcare services, and educational support. Such programs are essential in ensuring that all children have access to basic necessities and opportunities to thrive.

However, despite efforts to protect and support minors, there are still issues related to child abuse and neglect in Korea. In 2020, a high-profile case involving the death of a 16-month-old toddler due to parental abuse sparked public outrage and calls for stronger measures to protect vulnerable children. The government has since introduced new legislation aimed at preventing child abuse and enhancing child protection services.

It is also worth noting that the changing age of majority in Korea reflects broader trends towards recognizing the rights of minors worldwide. Many countries have lowered the age of majority in recent years, recognizing that young people can take on responsibilities and make valuable contributions to society at an earlier age than previously thought. This shift towards recognizing young people’s agency and autonomy is an important step towards creating a more equitable and just society for all.

In conclusion, the legal definition of a minor in Korea has important implications for their rights and responsibilities. While minors have legal protections, they also face challenges related to social pressures, academic stress, and mental health issues. It is crucial that society supports them through resources such as counseling services, youth centers, and education programs. Additionally, addressing issues related to child abuse and neglect is essential in ensuring the well-being of all children. Ultimately, understanding age definitions is an important aspect of creating a more just and equitable society for all individuals.

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