Runaway spouses the biggest problem for international marriages in Korea: Hotline

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Research indicated nearly 1 in 3 Koreans who called the international marriage hotline attributed problems in their marriage to their foreign spouses last year, according to the Korean Institute for Healthy Family.

In 2017, some 614 Koreans called to consult the family institution, of which 31.3 per cent, or 192 cases, dealt with spouse-related problems such as runaways, divorce or visas.

Among spouse-related incident reports, nearly 8 out of 10 international couples ended in divorce due to the foreign spouse running away, totaling 152 cases. Data further revealed some 15 per cent experienced visa approval delays or rejection all together, while 7 per cent complained of migration-induced diseases.

Aside from foreign spouse-related issues, some 165 Koreans called to report fraudulent brokerage firms, of which 40 per cent reported being scammed by fake contracts.

The majority of the consultations were sought out by mostly Korean men, specifically 437 cases, last year. Over 50 per cent of migrant spouses came from Vietnam, with 5.2 per cent from Mongolia, 4.4 per cent from China and 3.7 per cent from Cambodia.