Examining Korea's shockingly low rates of gun ownership

January 21, 2011

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(Getty Images/Song Kyung-Seok)
Despite exposure to guns through mandatory military service, the South Korean population has a very low rate of gun violence.

In South Korea, guns are so highly regulated that even the criminal underworld has difficulty arming itself. But that doesn't mean the population is unfamiliar with firearms or immune to gun violence. Incidents of gun violence, however, are rare in Korea, which has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the developed world. As part of our occasional series Here, There, Kyu Hyun Kim, a professor of Korean history at the University of California-Davis, tells us about gun culture in Korea.