Cambodia Bans Marriage to Korean Men

The Cambodian government has decided to temporarily forbid marriages between Cambodian women and Korean men to curb the mail-order bride business. Phnom Penh says Korean men often fail to observe the month-long consideration period for which they are required to stay in Cambodia to undergo an interview and a review of documents.

A Korean government source on Friday said the Cambodian government informed the Korean Embassy in Phnom Penh of the ban in an official letter on March 5.

The measure was taken after a woman was arrested for lining up no fewer than 25 Cambodian girls as potential brides for a Korean man to choose from, according to the source.

The Korean Embassy suspended receipt of applications for consular international marriage certificates on March 8, and will also temporarily suspend a settlement support program for immigrant spouses from Cambodia on April 1.

"International marriages should occur after free dating and the couples should decide on their own which country to live in after marriage. But Koreans, who account for 60 percent of international marriages in Cambodia, mostly meet Cambodian women through matchmakers," a government official said.

The arrest of the woman prompted the Cambodian government to enforce the ban amid deteriorating sentiment about Koreans among locals, he added.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 22, 2010 09:48 KST