Seoul - South Korea plans to chemically castrate a sex offender convicted of repeated crimes against children, the country's first use of the punishment, officials said on Thursday.
The 45-year-old man will get an injection on Friday that lowers testosterone-producing hormones and aims to inhibit sexual impulses, Justice Ministry officials said on condition of anonymity citing department rules.
South Korea passed a law in 2010 allowing judges or a Justice Ministry panel the option of ordering chemical castration after a series of violent sexual assaults on children sparked public outrage.
The man to be castrated this week was convicted four times between 1984 and 2002 of raping or sexually molesting girls under the ages of 13, the ministry said in a separate statement. A psychiatric test has concluded the man is a paedophile and needs medication, the officials said.
He will be released from prison in July under the condition that he receive injections every three months for three years, according to the ministry.
Under the law, those who refuse or miss an injection could be returned to prison for up to seven years.
Other countries also have been moving ahead with laws allowing chemical castration for sex offenders.
Russian lawmakers in October gave first-round approval to a bill that would impose chemical castration on repeat sex offenders. Poland legalised the procedure in 2009 for offenders who rape minors or close relatives.
Already, Britain, Denmark and Sweden offer chemical castration drugs to sex offenders on a voluntary basis. In the United States, several states have laws allowing chemical castration.