Comfort Women of South Korea

During and following the Korean War, prostitutes in South Korea were frequently used by the U.S. military. Prostitutes servicing members of the U.S. military in South Korea have been known locally under a variety of terms. Yankee princess (Hangul: 양공주 —also translated as Western princess) is a common name and literal meaning for the prostitutes in the Gijichon, U.S. military Camp Towns in South Korea.

Yankee whore (Hangul: 양갈보 Yanggalbo) and Western whore are also common names. The women are also referred to as U.N. madams (Hangul: 유엔마담, U.N. madam). Juicy girls is a common name for Filipina prostitutes. The term “Western princess” has been commonly used in the press, such as The Dong-a Ilbo for decades. On the other hand, it is also used as an insulting epithet.

Until the early 1990s, the term Wianbu (Hangul: 위안부, “Comfort Women”) was often used by South Korean media and officials to refer to prostitutes for the U.S. military, but comfort women was also the euphemism used for the sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army, and in order to avoid confusions, the term yanggongju replaced wianbu to refer to sexual laborers for the U.S. military.

The early 1990s also saw the two women’s rights movements diverge: on one side the one representing the Cheongsindae (Comfort women for the Japanese military), and on the other side the movement representing the Gijichon (Camptown for the US military), even if some women happen to have been victims of forced labor on both sides.[25] Now some South Korean media use the term migun wianbu (미군 위안부, 美軍慰安婦 “US military comfort women”), literally American Comfort Women.

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