Since the Hwang scandal, bioethics has come to occupy a significant place on the public agenda in South Korea. The South Korean state has expressed oftenconflicting interests in encouraging stem cell research and the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) industry to save the country while also introducing ethical regulations in conformity with “global standards.” This paper examines how the discourse of national population crisis has framed policy concerns and public debate on bioethical issues in contemporary South Korea, and investigates the changing biopolitics of South Korea through debates on the regulation of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and surrogacy. In this process, the paper takes the technologies of reproduction as its main focus of investigation. As a potent symbol of both the past and future, reproduction has become one of the most contested topics in contemporary politics, connecting individual lives and collective entities. Starting with a short summary of the Bioethics Law in South Korea, this paper will examine the debate on legal regulation of assisted reproduction and the controversial issue of surrogacy in the context of the depopulation crisis.
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