February 24, 2024

Disillusioned South Korean men seek North Korean wives

Unions between South and North Koreans on the rise, with matchmakers in between

For some, an old saying that translates to “men from the South are handsome, and women from the North are beautiful,” means that a South Korean man and a North Korean woman make the perfect couple.

Stepping up to fill the growing void created by the steady decrease of international marriages due to tightened government restrictions on imported brides, and spurred by favorable public perceptions of North Korean women dominating the South Korean media, nam nam buk nyeo (Southern man, Northern woman) matchmaking is a growing industry. With women making up more than 70 percent of South Korea's total defector population, virtually all of these matchmaking services specialize in connecting North Korean wives with South Korean husbands.