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Dual Citizenship - Why doesn't Korea allow it?
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Hanson



Joined: 20 Oct 2004

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Dual Citizenship - Why doesn't Korea allow it? Reply with quote

I was just having a think about possible future scenarios for me and my family and was wondering what the reasoning is behind Korea's (and many other countries, for that matter - but I'd like to focus on Korea) stance on dual citizenship.

Canada, Australia, the United States, England, Ireland, and most (?) other advanced nations allow for dual citizenship, but Korea does not.

My daughter was born on Korean soil, and has lived here ever since, but does not get Korean citizenship because my wife switched to Australian citizenship many moons ago. Despite my daughter's obvious Korean heritage, she is not granted Korean citizenship.

Children of mixed marriages (Korean + Non-Korean) must effectively choose their citizenship once they reach adult-age (whatever age that happens to be).

Now, I'm no poli-sci/cultural expert, so I'm asking - what's the reasoning behind this? Wouldn't allowing dual citizenship be a good thing for the country?
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PeteJB



Joined: 06 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually dual citizenship is being considered by the government now.
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justaguy



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too many Koreans would claim to be a foreigner so they could skip out on their military service obligations.

Korean guys generally do not like people who try to weasel out of their army service.
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Hanson



Joined: 20 Oct 2004

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justaguy wrote:
Too many Koreans would claim to be a foreigner so they could skip out on their military service obligations.

Korean guys generally do not like people who try to weasel out of their army service.


Ok, so why not say "If you do your military service - you can have both..."? At least that way they could carry both. I'm not saying it would be worth it to go through two-plus years of military, I'm just saying the possibility could be offered, if that's the only obstacle to outright dual citizenship.
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea is not the only advanced country that doesn't allow dual citizenship.
Germany doesn't allow it. The US allows it, but it frowns upon dual citizenship. I think in this global era, it makes sense to have it.
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Hanson



Joined: 20 Oct 2004

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Although dual citizenship is restricted under German law, it can be held in limited circumstances:

where a child born to German parents acquires another citizenship at birth (e.g based on place of birth, or descent from one parent)
where a German citizen acquires a foreign nationality with the permission of the German government
where a naturalized German citizen, or a child born to non-German parents in Germany, obtains permission to keep their foreign nationality
A senior Social Democratic member Ralf Stegner, who is the interior minister in the regional state of Schleswig-Holstein, has asked the German chancellor to change dual-nationality law to allow dual-nationality to all citizens of Germany. He feels that Germany should allow multi-nationality to integrate many of the Gastarbeiter who live in Germany. [2]



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_nationality_law[/quote]
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justaguy



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theoreticly it could work but it's simply not realistic.

I don't think anyone in his right mind would want to be in the Korean army for 2 years if he didn't have to.

I haven't heard a Korean guy yet say it was fun.
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excitinghead



Joined: 18 Jul 2005

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's much more complicated than just military service issues.

If you really want to understand Koreans' thoughts on citizenship then I highly recommend picking up the 2006 book "Ethnic Nationalism in Korea: Genealogy, Politics, and Legacy" by Gi-Wook Shin. In a nutshell, he says that back in the 1870s-1900s, Korean intellectuals were engaged in an active debate about the developing Korean nation-state and what form of citizenship would be developed, and Japanese colonization tipped the majority into ultimately advocating a "bloodlines"-based one, based on your family background rather than where you were born, and very similar to those in Japan and Germany. Later, Korean military dictators both found appeals to this sort of nationalism useful and at the same time repressed the development of civil-society and legalistic notions of citizenship.

What all that means practically is that Koreans have very black and white notions of who is or isn't a "Korean", and hence you have Koreans in America and in Korea feeling the need to apologise for the shootings at Virginia Tech for instance, but for someone who emigrated when he was eight and could barely speak a word of the language and to people who really didn't care where he was from. Similarly, when dictator Alberto Fujimori in Peru had to hightail it out of the country he could live in Japan (with similar ideas of citizenship) because his great great grandmother was Japanese. Meanwhile, people born in Japan but with Korean parents and grandparents who've been there for 100 years don't get automatic citizenship.

The government is considering dual citizenship mainly to attract foreign investors. It doesn't reflect any genuine belief that merely living and working here, speaking the language, marrying a local, or having children here actually makes you genuinely Korean in any way. I'm guilty of all the above, but I suspect that I'll never be genuinely accepted here.

An irreverent look at Korean social issues:
http://thegrandnarrative.wordpress.com/


Last edited by excitinghead on Sat May 31, 2008 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thiuda



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Religion ist für Sklaven geschaffen, für Wesen ohne Geist.

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adventurer wrote:
Korea is not the only advanced country that doesn't allow dual citizenship.
Germany doesn't allow it. The US allows it, but it frowns upon dual citizenship. I think in this global era, it makes sense to have it.


Germany does allow dual citizenship, though you have to prove that you have family ties in both nations when you apply for it. I hold British, Canadian and German citizenship, as I was able to prove ties to each nation, i.e. family and property.

http://www.auswandern-aktuell.de/beratungsdienst/beratung/zweitpass0.html

Quote:
Der Kompromiss zum neuen Staatsangehörigkeitsrecht (StAG), den der Bundestag am 7. Mai
1999 mit breiter Mehrheit verab-schiedet hatte, wurde am 01.01.2000 rechtskräftig.

Das neu verabschiedete Gesetz beinhaltet u.a. einige Verbesse-rungen für im Ausland lebende
Deutsche, die eine ausländische Staatsbürgerschaft erwerben, dabei aber ihre deutsche Staats-
bürgerschaft beibehalten wollen. Unter bestimmten (erfüllbaren) Auflagen, darunter "fortbestehen-
de Bindungen" an Deutschland, können Auslandsdeutsche, vor der Erlangung einer Staatsbür-
gerschaft ihres Wohnlandes, über ihre örtlichen Konsulate beim Bundesverwaltungsamt eine so-
genannte "Beibehaltungsgeneh-migung" (BBG) beantragen.

Die inhaltliche Ausgestaltung der entsprechenden gesetzlichen Bestimmungen erfolgt durch die
sogenannten allgemeinen Verwaltungsvorschriften, zu deren Erlass das Bundesministerium des
Innern im Gesetzestext ausdrücklich ermächtigt wurde. Damit diese Ausführungsbestimmungen
rechtzeitig vorliegen, wurde dieser Teil vorzeitig in Kraft gesetzt und wirksam.


Gute Kriterien für fortbestehende Bindungen an Deutschland:

• Eltern / Verwandte ersten Grades noch in Deutschland.
• Grundbesitz / Immobilie(n) in Deutschland.
• Konto (Spar- und/oder Girokonto) oder andere Geldanlagen in Deutschland.
• Besuch deutscher Schulen; Besuche in Deutschland.
• Mitgliedschaft in deutschen Clubs, Vereinen usw.
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Korean Government realizes there are serious problems in Korea when it comes to the economy and brain drain. Also, the Conservatives, though they are called Conservatives, are in some ways liberals. They are Conservatives in the sense of being pro-business, but they are pro-foreign as well, but that also ties into business. They also do not like some of the old style nationalist Koreans in many cases, and the president thinks some of those elements are backward and keep Korea behind. However, he must contend with them. I brought up Germany, because the OP mentioned all advanced states give dual citizenship.
It is only relatively recently that they allowed Turks to become citizens over there. They did give citizenship to ethnic Germans who came from Eastern Europe, so they were more open to Germanic people than Koreans have been to ethnic Koreans. Korea is going to change, and it takes time for them to accept diversity, but it is happening. You can't expect a country to change overnight. Many of you are not old enough
to know how many people were against diversity in Canada in the early 1970s and many in Canada see huge problems. I wasn't old enough then, but I heard about it.
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Hanson



Joined: 20 Oct 2004

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adventurer wrote:
I brought up Germany, because the OP mentioned all advanced states give dual citizenship.


Sorry, not to be nit-picky, but I was actually careful not to say that.

That being said, I guess we're getting to the crux of the matter - thanks for an excellent post, excitinghead. Koreans have a very narrow and sometimes complicated view of what a Korean is. Terms like 'gyopo' and 'waegookin' come from somewhere.

It's funny, though, to see Koreans "adopting" guys like Hines Ward or Dennis Kang (the Super Korean MMA fighter) as Korean, boasting their achievements and thrusting glory upon them as "one of us", but shunning mixed-bloods here at home. There IS a sense of 'us vs. them' reflected in their stance on dual citizenship.

But, again, is there something else I'm missing as to why the Korean gov't hasn't offered dual citizenship? Is it purely nationalistic pride?
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hanson, I do hope your daughter gets dual citizenship. My apologies for making it seem like you said all advanced countries. You are naturally concerned for your wife and your child, and people of Korean origin are affected by this as well. Did you think of starting an on-line petition and presenting it to the government and having Koreans and people of Korean origin and people in your situation signing it? I am sorry if I didn't seem sympathetic to your plight. Korea is partially your home, and you want to feel more welcomed and for it not to turn its back on people of Korean descent. Korea is influenced by nationalism and blood ties like Germany in the past and Japan. These ideas are outdated. They will change, perhaps, under this government.
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Night Ranger



Joined: 17 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korean military tough???? Have you taken a look at these sissies walking around??? The hardest Korean military training would be the equivalent of U.S. Air Force basic....and I'm being generous. Koreans are about as productive in the military as they are in the workforce....the only thing they're good at is holding candles downtown.
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sistersarah



Joined: 03 Jan 2004
Location: hiding out

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Night Ranger wrote:
Korean military tough???? Have you taken a look at these sissies walking around??? The hardest Korean military training would be the equivalent of U.S. Air Force basic....and I'm being generous. Koreans are about as productive in the military as they are in the workforce....the only thing they're good at is holding candles downtown.


While some soldiers get off pretty easy, some really don't. My husband served out in Gangwon-do near the DMZ, where they sometimes slept in tents on the coldest days. Once he fell into an exhaustion-induced coma for three days after being assigned to a special mission. He also saw action when about 30 North Korean spies invaded in 1996. A couple of his colleagues were killed.

He said there were definitely some good days and fun times, but it certainly wasn't a walk in the park. And he only made 20,000 won a month for 2 years....
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert Holley the owner of the Gwangju Foreign school where CPN taught had to tear up his U.S. passport when he became a Korean citizen. Doesn't mean a hell of beans though, because you will always be a citizen of where you were born. All one has to do is go back to ones home country and apply for a passport again. He can still sponsor his family to be permanent residents and eventually U.S. citizens.
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