South Koreans Turn to Cambodia to Buy Wives

Government decries 'human trafficking' on rise after Vietnam crackdown
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2008 1:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – A clampdown on marriage brokers in Vietnam has made neighboring Cambodia the new destination for South Korean men seeking to buy wives, the AP reports. About 2,500 Cambodian women have married Koreans this way in the past four years in a process in which men choose from as many as 100 mainly poor women—and which is denounced as "human trafficking" by officials.

Grooms pay up to $20,000 for the service, of which the bride's family sees only $1,000. And while some marriages may be successful, an investigation found repeated incidences of broken promises and violence. One Cambodian woman was warned her parents would be hurt if she left her abusive Korean husband, according to an international monitoring group.