N Seoul Tower ‘locks’ proved ineffective

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“We had no idea how the survey would turn out, but we knew the results would be interesting.”

So says Lee Woo Min, the psychologist behind a study of the locks around N Seoul Tower. A popular tourist destination in Seoul, literally thousands of Korean couples have attached a lock to part of the tower’s fences to ‘lock’ their love in place. Lee’s study, funded by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, was conducted in an attempt to find out what happened to the couples behind the locks. Although many couples write their initials on the lock itself, it was a daunting task to find these couples.


“We had no idea how the survey would turn out, but we knew the results would be interesting.”

So says Lee Woo Min, the psychologist behind a study of the locks around N Seoul Tower. A popular tourist destination in Seoul, literally thousands of Korean couples have attached a lock to part of the tower’s fences to ‘lock’ their love in place. Lee’s study, funded by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, was conducted in an attempt to find out what happened to the couples behind the locks. Although many couples write their initials on the lock itself, it was a daunting task to find these couples.

“We pulled credit card records, closed circuit video, and lots of follow-up investigation to make this happen,” Lee stated.

After two years of work, Lee and his staff managed to compile 7,109 couples, found contact information for 5,492 of them, and procured 4,910 viable survey results. While the survey results will be formally released in an academic journal, this reporter got a first-hand look at the results.

The 4,910 couples surveyed had placed their locks there an average of 1.1 years ago, and approximately 26.3% of the respondents stated they were still with the person they ‘locked’ with. Because of the average couples ages – men were 21 and women were 19, on average – there were very few babies produced from these couples. “We’re just hoping they stay together and remember the lock,” Lee stated.

Making babies is part of the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs interest in the project. After a recent announcement requiring workers to go home early by switching the lights off, the Ministry has been exploring other ways of increasing the birthrate. “We’ve considered ordering men to forego the ‘kissing rooms’ and go home to kiss their wives,” said one Ministry official, who didn’t want to be named. “Then we saw their wives and canceled the plan.”

Another plan considered was a fund covering plastic surgery for wives of Ministry officials, in order to set the proper example for the population. “What we realized was that [the wives] already had plastic surgery, and weren’t too interested in going under the knife again.” Since increasing the birthrate is considered a national priority, extra money will be diverted from the Ministry’s usual budget to various research projects. “The money spent on research will come from the support we usually offer single parents, but will help some parents out in the form of tax credits. “We’ll use some money currently spent on legal aid for mothers to ensure people see sexier ads. That will encourage more people to visit DVD bang for the only reason they exist in the first place. In other words, we’ll spend less money on actually helping parents and more money encouraging people to have babies, whether they can afford them and take care of them or not.”

Lee’s next project, which focuses on encouraging older people to make babies, starts from a ‘common sense’ perspective. “There’s more old people than ever – it’s time they get to work as well!” he added, with a knowing look in his eye. Another project, centered on matching men and women based on their test scores, is a bit further off. “We don’t want to put any more pressure on someone than we need to. After all, the test determines where you’ll go to university, where you’ll work, and how much money you’ll make. We’re not sure if we need to add any additional significance to the results,” Lee said.

This post is completely satirical. It’s made up, except for Brian’s excellent post and the actual locks around N Seoul Tower’s fences.

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2010

This post was originally published on my blog, Chris in South Korea. If you are reading this on another website and there is no linkback or credit given, you are reading an UNAUTHORIZED FEED.




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