It is a news headline you’d expect to see in a theocratic Islamic nation in the Middle East: “Actress given 8 months in jail for adultery.” But, this time, the headline could refer to the case of South Korean actress Ok So-ri.
The Korean adultery law was created in 1953 and has been upheld despite four major challenges over the past two decades. In Ok’s case, the judges denied her arguement that the current law was an invasion of privacy and had “degenerated into a means of revenge by the spouse, rather than a means of saving a marriage.” Despite the possibility of a two year sentence, Ok was given a eight month suspended sentence. Her lover, a Korean pop star, was given a six month suspended sentence. Neither will spend time in jail. The judge’s reasoning: adultery is damaging to the country’s social order.
According to the BBC, a recent survey showed that 70% of men and 12% of women have admitted to having sex outside of marriage. Ironic, especially given Ok’s statements about the law being used by spouses for revenge.