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Militarized CurrentsToward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific$
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Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L. Camacho

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665051

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665051.001.0001

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South Korean Movements against Militarized Sexual Labor

South Korean Movements against Militarized Sexual Labor

(p.125) 6 South Korean Movements against Militarized Sexual Labor
Militarized Currents

Katharine H. S. Moon

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the overlapping conditions and complicities among the Korean government, the Japanese “comfort women” system, and the U.S. military in regulating the sexual exploitation of specific classes and groups of South Korean women. It analyzes the historical context and politics of two movements against militarized sexual labor, namely, the chŏngsindae movement and the kijich’on movement; the former is also known as the comfort women movement and latter is concerned with the conditions of sex workers in U.S. military camptowns. The chapter considers the many connections that link the formation of these movements, which include Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea and the United States’s military occupation of South Korea. It suggests that some of the same women who were chŏngsindae (comfort women) for the Japanese imperial system later became sex workers for the U.S. military. By highlighting the militarization of sexual relations in South Korea, the chapter demonstrates how the violent and coerced militarization of women’s sexuality can lead to the formation of new political movements.

Keywords:   comfort women, sexual exploitation, South Korea, sexual labor, chŏngsindae movement, kijich’on movement, sex workers, Japan, United States, militarization

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