ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on December 28th, 2012 at 6:41 pm

New MBC Drama “I Miss You” Draws Attention To Culture of Rape In South Korea

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A new MBC drama is getting a lot of buzz because of the attention it is bringing to the issue of rape in South Korea:

Recently, rape has been one of the top keywords in local news headlines. The number of victims is constantly increasing along with suicide rates, and meanwhile the Korean government has not yet taken action to alleviate this tragic issue. Currently, Korean law regarding the crime of sexual assault is weak enough to allow the prosecutor to claim that the defendant’s wrongdoings came from a lack of consciousness or inability to resist the urge to attack due to overdrinking.

Even when the case is taken to court, the victim is often exposed to irrational interrogations regarding her attire at the time of the assault, how many drinks she had, or comments she made that may have had the potential to appear provocative. Such legal and social factors have resulted in crimes that were lightly punished, bringing some cases to an unfair end.

Despite an uproar that they knew would follow, MBC has attempted to redefine rape in South Korea through today’s most talked-about TV drama, I Miss You. The story begins with two characters, Han Jung-woo (played by Park Yoo-chun) and Lee Soo-yeon (played by Yoon Eun-hye), who lose contact with each other as teenagers after a traumatic event. Although the drama does not explicitly detail the scene, many have commented on the disturbing idea of depicting a 15-year-old, Soo-yeon, being assaulted in front of Jung-woo. While is it difficult for viewers to take in such a heartbreaking scene, the drama offers a realistic portrayal of current issues and puts Korean women of all ages on alert to the potential dangers. [10 Magazine]

Most ROK Drop readers know how many people have been able to get rape sentenced reduced by claiming they were drunk.  The most outrageous example of light sentences against sex offenders that I can think of is when a handicapped girl raped for years by family members was returned to them after they received suspended jail terms. To be fair though the Korean Supreme Court has recently ruled that being drunk is no longer a valid excuse for rape.  This recent decision does not mean that light sentencing for crimes against women in Korea is going away totally.  I have to wonder if rapists instead of using the drunk defense will instead now go back to using the she didn’t resist enough defense?  Hopefully this drama can continue to draw attention to this issue and hopefully stiffen the punishment for rape.

You can watch “I Miss You” for free over at

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  • Baek In-je
    7:22 pm on December 29th, 2012 1

    C’mon…it wasn’t really rape. You have to understand our culture. I was drunk, she called me handsome, and she didn’t resist enough. It is the perfect ajosshi trifecta.

  • Tom
    11:11 pm on December 29th, 2012 2


    양키 집에 가!

  • Teadrinker
    4:53 am on December 30th, 2012 3



    You write Korean like a child.

  • Tom
    5:15 am on December 30th, 2012 4

    짓거리고 있네. 코jengi 입 닥쳐. :mrgreen:

  • tbonetylr
    5:48 am on December 30th, 2012 5

    The article says…”Although the drama does not explicitly detail the scene, many have commented on the disturbing idea of depicting a 15-year-old, Soo-yeon, being assaulted in front of Jung-woo. While is it difficult for viewers to take in such a heartbreaking scene…,”

    Why is it “difficult for viewers to view the scene” when the drama doesn’t “explicitly detail” it?

    Let me try to understand this…Soo-yeon was raped “in front of Jung-woo” and Jung-woo just stood around to watch while someone else raped her and secretly got aroused while doing so?

  • jim
    6:47 pm on December 30th, 2012 6

    tom, do you even speak korean?

  • guitard
    3:16 am on December 31st, 2012 7

    jim wrote:

    tom, do you even speak korean?

    Tom speaks Korean via Google Translate.

    What do you expect though . . . for a Canadian who has never been to Korea before?

  • Jackd
    9:16 am on December 31st, 2012 8

    Point to a perfect system that handles sex crimes, it certainly isn’t any western country.
    In America the moment an accusation is made someone is tried and hung before they’re even in court the first time, and all that takes is some co-ed waking up realizing she got a bit drunk and slept with a guy she didn’t really like so it must have been rape.

    He said/she said cases are completely non-starters. Neither one of them is going to remember it exactly as it really happened nor be honest about it if they happen to have an agenda. Are they lenient in some cases? Certainly. But at least Korea hides the identity of the accused until a guilty verdict and sentence is received. Obvious cases of rape and sex crimes against children are an entirely different situation (so before you all slam your knees fully into jerk…) and I’m not talking about those.

    But you’ve got 2 scenarios:
    1-Someone potentially gets off easy/light because it’s a he said/she said and the court isn’t buying her story fully about how much of a fight she put up (if at all) or maybe they both just got really drunk or whatever
    2-An innocent man has his life completely screwed by some vindictive psycho over an imaginary “wrong”.

    That’s a pretty tough choice to make which system you prefer. Obviously a balance is better. America could go a long way by hiding names of people until such a time that either they’re found guilty or they’re judged to be an immediate threat which necessitates their identity being out there. But they also need to go hard on people who falsely report rape. “Revenge rape” which is basically a life ruining accusation rarely gets prosecuted (they’d hate to dissuade some other psycho from using the same tactic to get back at someone else) or when it does it’s nothing more than a slap on the wrist. I’d say any woman who gets convicted of that should be subjected to the same media coverage, jail sentence and restrictions that a guy would have received had he actually done the things to her than she’d claimed. Including registering as a sex offender since she was trying to use sex to harm another person.

    I’d also like to see someone explain how it is that two people go out, get hammered, and it’s apparently only the woman who loses the ability to control and be responsible for her actions. How she loses the ability to consent to sex, but the man does not lose the ability to form an intent for a crime. gender bias at all.

  • Baek In-je
    8:41 pm on December 31st, 2012 9

    양키ga tom’s mom’s집에 가!


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