The Republic of Korea has been declared by the State Department to be non-compliant with the Hague Abduction Convention.
The State Department has reported to Congress that within the past year it has taken the following actions in this regard against the Republic of Korea:
· Department officials in Washington, DC, and at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul continued to raise concerns about the ROK’s failure to enforce Convention return orders. In October 2022, the Department’s Office of Children’s Issues met with the ROK Embassy in Washington, DC, to urge compliance with the Convention.
· In December 2022, the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues met with various ROK government officials in Seoul, including MFA, Ministry of Justice, and Supreme Court representatives, to discuss the country’s pattern of noncompliance with the Convention and to offer assistance to improve compliance.
· In January 2023, the U.S. Ambassador to ROK and Consul General met with the Minister of Justice in Seoul and urged prompt resolution of outstanding child abduction cases.
· In February 2023, the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs met with senior MFA officials in Seoul to express concerns regarding the ROK’s failure to resolve outstanding child abduction cases under the Convention.
· In February 2023, the Special Advisor for Children's Issues wrote an editorial article for a popular Korean newspaper. The article urged the resolution of child abduction cases. In March 2023, the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues raised the country’s pattern of noncompliance with ROK Embassy officials in Washington, DC, and offered assistance to improve compliance.
· In April 2023, officials from the Department’s Bureaus of Consular Affairs and East Asia and the Pacific met with a senior advisor to the ROK President in Washington, DC, to discuss the pattern of noncompliance with the Convention and offer any necessary assistance to improve compliance. Also in April, the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues met with the ROK Counselor for Legal Affairs in Washington, DC, to discuss ROK’s formation of a task force to address challenges with child abduction cases.
· In May 2023, the Office of the Spokesperson released a media note to announce the release of the 2023 Annual Report on International Child Abduction and listed ROK as a country cited for demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance.
· In May 2023, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul delivered a demarche to the Deputy Minister for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) regarding the country’s noncompliance and requesting information on plans to improve the enforcement of Convention return orders.
Jeremy D. Morley has provided expert evidence to courts in several U.S. states on such matters concerning the Republic of Korea.