Alcohol is frequently consumed in South Korea when people get together to socialize. It plays a big role in their culture. There is a good likelihood that alcohol will be consumed if you connect up with a group of Korean tourists and stay out with them.
Food and drinking in Korea are essential parts of their culture and lifestyle. Let us know about the drinking age in Korea. Korean cuisine is famous for its bold flavors and spices and many traditional dishes are served with rice and a variety of side dishes called banchan. Some trendy Korean dishes include Kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage), Bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables and meat), and Bulgogi (grilled marinated beef).
Drinking in Korea is an integral part of their culture and is often enjoyed in social settings. Soju is the most traditional liquor made from rice and is often consumed with a good number of meals. Beer and other types of alcohol such as Makgeolli (a type of rice wine) and Sikhye (a sweet rice punch) are also consumed.
It is common for Korean to join in a drinking ritual called “Sejak” where everyone at the table drinks together and celebrates and cheers to each other to celebrate!
1. What is the Legal Drinking Age in Korea?
In recent years, South Korea has seen a great rise in the popularity of craft beers and cocktails and many bars have started to offer different kinds of drink options.
Overall food and drinking are essential to Korean culture and lifestyles and are relished in social settings. The legal drinking age in Korea is 19 years old according to the international counting system otherwise it is 20 years old.
It is illegal for individuals under the age of 19 to buy or consume alcohol. Penalties are asked to pay for breaking the law also including fines and imprisonment.
1.2. Is 18 Minor Age in Korea
The legal majority age in Korea is 19 years. Therefore, people under the age of 18 are regarded as minors. Minors in Korea are prohibited from voting, drinking alcohol, and smoking among other important activities.
A number of rules that are in place to safeguard minors in Korea also protect them. For instance, minors are not permitted to work on weekends or during school breaks. Additionally, they are not permitted to travel alone without an adult.
The age of majority rule in Korea has a few deviations. For instance, minors can marry their parents’ permission, and if they have their parents’ approval, they can sign contracts. The majority age in Korea is 19, on average.
As a result, people under the age of 18 are guarded by a number of laws that are designed to keep them safe. They may also have certain restrictions on their legal rights and responsibilities. So, 18 years is considered a minor age in Korea.
2. Impact of Drinking Age Restrictions on Korean Youth
Restricting the legal age to 19 years old according to international system Korean age will always be at least one year older than your international age. In South Korea may help to lessen the negative effects of excessive drinking among youths.
For example, it may help to reduce alcohol-related accidents and injuries among young generations. Additionally, it may also discourage young people from developing dangerous drinking habits at a very early age.
However, it is important to note that enforcing the legal drinking age can be difficult and it cannot eliminate the problems of underage drinking.
2.1. Points to Remember While Drinking in Korea
- The legal drinking age in South Korea is 19 years old, the country has used the international counting system.
- It is illegal for young people under the age of 19 to purchase or consume alcohol.
- Penalties for breaking the law can include fines and imprisonment.
- Identification must be shown when buying or drinking alcohol in South Korea. and establishments may refuse service to those who cannot provide proper ID.
- Drinking in public is allowed but it is not allowed in certain areas such as schools, public transportation and government buildings and facilities.
- Drunk drinking is a serious crime and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment.
- There are also cultural expectations about drinking for example in most companies or family gatherings it is expected to drink and join in the parties.
3. What Age Can You go Clubbing in Korea?
In South Korea, it is common for people to go clubbing also known as “Clubbing culture “as a form of entertainment and socializing with people. Many clubs in South Korea feature electronic dance music (EDM) or K-pop music and often have several rooms with different music games to play.
Clubgoers typically dress in an item of trendy clothing and some clubs have strict dress code demands. Additionally, many clubs in South Korea have strict age restrictions and only allow individuals who are over the legal drinking age of 19 years. Some clubs in Korea may also have a cover charge or requires a membership.
Overall clubbing in Korea is very famous for entertainment and socializing with your loved ones and is also associated with youth and nightlife.
4. Changes Overtime to the Drinking Age in Korea
The legal drinking age in South Korea has remained the same. It’s also the norm that if your elder offers you a glass of soju, you should accept every single one of them as a sign of respect.
The fact that they are even inviting you out for a drink should be seen as a great compliment towards you. This naturally adds to the amount of alcohol consumed in Korea as especially older people.
From June 2023, the so-called “Korean Age” system will no longer be permitted on official documents proposed changes to the law in recent times. Only the standardized, internationally recognized method will remain. The government is fulfilling a campaign promise to reduce confusion by adopting the same system used in the rest of the world.
5. Difference Between South and North Korea Drinking Age
The drinking age in South Korea is 19 years old while in North Korea is not specified. However, it is illegal to buy or consume alcohol if young people are under 17 years old in North Korea.
In South Korea, anyone who is 19 years old or above is legal to buy or drink alcohol. This includes beer, wine, and spirits. The age for purchasing and drinking alcohol was raised from 18 to 19 in 2009 as part of a series of measures to crack down on drunk driving.
In North Korea, the legal drinking age is not mentioned in any official laws and regulations. However, it is illegal to purchase or drink alcohol if you are under 17 years old. North Korea has very strict laws and regulations in place to control the production, distribution and consumption of alcohol as the government wants to limit all the negative effects of alcohol on the population.
It is worth noting the legal drinking age is not strictly enforced in North Korea and it is not uncommon for people to drink alcohol at a very young age. However, breaking the law can lead to severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
Suggested Reading- 5 Amazing North Korea Facts You Need to Know
6. Final Words
In Korea, drinking is a common social activity and is deeply ingrained in the country’s culture. It is often used as a means of bonding and building relationships, both in personal and professional settings.
The legal drinking age in Korea is 19, and a wide variety of alcoholic beverages are available, including traditional Korean drinks such as soju and makgeolli. However, excessive drinking and alcohol-related problems, such as drunk driving and violence, are also a concern in Korea.
So, plan a trip to Korea to enjoy the famous Korean cuisines and world-famous alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.