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By Song Bong-geun After the sex trade law went into effect on Sept. Now prostitutes practice their trade in room salons, massage parlors and officetels, dual purpose buildings used for both commercial and residential purposes.
These new setups allow pimps to more discretely arrange sex for money. Many regions including Yeongdeungpo, Hawolgok-dong, northern Seoul, Cheonho-dong, eastern Seoul, and Cheongyangni and Yongsan District, central Seoul have long carried reputations as red-light areas, but Yongsan is the only place where those brothels have completely disappeared.
In Yongsan District, the area where the ladies used to stand in front of the windows is now a construction site. Before the law, there were more women who stood before plate glass windows backlit with red or pink lamps, done up in makeup and wearing high heels, waiting for customers. Entire city blocks would glow with these establishments.
Dozens of brothels still turn on their red lights every night. For every car, at least two or three women in heavy makeup walked into a room salon. Within a one-kilometer 0. The price for one person for sex ranged from , won to , won. According to the sex trade study, the number of red-light districts decreased to 25 from 31 in The study however said the number of room salons and massage parlors that offer prostitution has gradually increased in the last few years-from in to last year in Sangmu District.
The JoongAng Ilbo also explored other places that have become known for prostitution: An average of places, including room salons and officetels, exist in each region.