South Korean condom sales, motel bookings surged after North's nuclear test

Condom sales and pay-by-the-hour "love motel" bookings surged across South Korea in the aftermath of North Korea's nuclear test, the country's top newspaper reported Thursday.

South Koreans are used to living in the shadow of war, and life has continued as normal in the capital, Seoul, in the wake of the Oct. 9 test.

But figures published by the mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo newspaper Thursday suggest that despite their apparently blase reaction to the North's nuclear bluster, many South Koreans may be seeking solace in sex.

Condom sales at a leading chain of convenience stores rose to an average of 1,930 a day in the week after the North's Oct. 9 nuclear test, compared to the 2006 daily average of 1,508 condoms sold, the paper said.

Daily sales of the prophylactics dropped slightly to 1,772 in the week from Oct. 16-21, but remained well above the daily average, reports AP.

A popular online reservation site for South Korea's "love motels" the popular term for lodgings built for clandestine rendezvous also reported a surge in bookings immediately after the heightened security threat.

The affordable motels are a fixture across South Korea. In one of the world's most densely populated countries, where extended families often live together, such accommodations provide a refuge for those seeking discreet locations for intimate encounters.

But those who haven't already made their reservations will have to wait. The online system says it has no available slots until the end of the month.

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