Tattoo parlors popular in South Korea?

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A South American mummy from 6,000 BC had a mustache tattoo to attract his wife. In South Korea, tattoos are illegal for anyone other than licensed doctors due to health risks, but people still get them at clandestine parlours. Tattoo artists risk fines and jail time if caught. Korea’s interest in tattoos may have grown after soccer player Ahn Jung-Hwan revealed his tattoo in 2003.

The earliest known example of a tattoo belongs to a South American mummy from 6,000 BC. He had a mustache tattoo placed on his upper lip to make his wife more attracted to him, experts say. Today, tattoos seem to be everywhere, but in South Korea, it’s still illegal for anyone other than a licensed doctor to get one. Korean officials say the process is an invasive medical procedure, with the risk of hepatitis or HIV infection from improperly sterilized needles. They argue that it would be like allowing someone to perform surgery in their living room.

The body of evidence:

However, South Koreans still get tattoos. They frequent only clandestine parlours, technically illegal but largely ignored by the police.
If caught, tattoo artists in South Korea risk fines and jail time for “violating public health codes.”
Some think Korea’s interest in tattoos exploded in 2003 after soccer player Ahn Jung-Hwan, a national hero, took off his shirt to reveal a tattoo on his shoulder after a game-winning goal.

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