South Korean Court Rejects Director Hong Sang Soo’s Divorce Petition as He Continues to Date Actress Kim Min Hee

This is such a frustrating story to cover, I almost wish the threesome in question would reach a practical settlement and move forward. This week the South Korean court handling award winning director Hong Sang Soo‘s divorce petition rejected it, leaving him still married to his wife of nearly thirty years. Hong Sang Soo is for all intents and purposes not married in fact to his wife as he’s been publicly dating actress Kim Min Hee since 2016 after the two worked on a movie together and fell in love despite the over 20-year age gap and more importantly his married status.

His wife has thus far refused to divorce him and now he can’t do anything about it unilaterally as SK courts do not accept divorce petitions from the party in the wrong, and in this case since he committed adultery he’s considered the at fault party because SK law does not allow no-fault divorces. He would either have to get his wife to agree to the divorce (fat chance) or show the courts its in her best interest to be divorce and there is no harm to her (also fat chance). So he continues to be legally married to wife and for all daily life purposes dating Kim Min Hee.


South Korean Court Rejects Director Hong Sang Soo’s Divorce Petition as He Continues to Date Actress Kim Min Hee — 74 Comments

  1. I heard that this was always the case so he becames public with his affairs.
    He tries to leave his wife several times but the wives just don’t let it happen.

    Idk behind the scenes for real but I find it quite cruel to stay and forvce someone to stay in marriage that will never be reconciliate.
    He has a bad reputation already and he doesn’t like his wife, the wife should let him go after all this time.

  2. The more the wife drags this the more hurt spreads to immediate loved ones. I don’t see the lesson the wife tries to set as example to her kids/family PROLONGING this. It’s not like that she’s helpless. Marriage certificate is proof of contract. Since she’s the hurt/wronged party she can put demands for compensation. (Even if she don’t have the paper but the community already recognized their partnership.)
    Also, everyone in their country and some parts of world knows already if shaming them is her goal. At this point, I honestly don’t even see the value of keeping the guy married to her. Highly likely that he will go back as they are both over mature age and not young couple.
    She wont be happy as she keeps reliving the hurt she feels by not letting go. Why wont she love/value herself more?
    It’s like…. hurt….satisfaction(cuz she stops them from being happy)….relives the hurt……cycle. Is that really worth it?

    • You are not her, dont bother judging her decisions. Her kids are supportive and they love her, they are adults s who knows to respect their mum wishes. You speculate too much into situation not concerning yourself…

      • Still the mum’s rights and decision, the courts have given her the right to choose.. Not for anyone to take away.

      • Please don’t judge if you have never been through what she going through….she was married for 30 years and her husband is leaving her for another woman…..think about it ❤️

      • @tro77. It is not because of the other woman. She is just vindictive and don’t want the title divorcee in a country that look down on it. The husband has been trying to divorce her for almost 10 years, way before Kim Min Hee are in the picture. After 5 years of failed try, he met Min Hee and start a relationship with her. Do you think his daughter will be in a good relationship with Min Hee and him if she really was the other woman.

        I have seen a few relationship where one don’t want to divorce just so they can inherit the asset among other reasons. So, i am on the husband sides as i dislike people that want to ruin other people life especially knowing they are in the wrong side.

      • @OZIAR: Side whoever you want, that is your right. You have everyone to exercise it. The law give the wife her right to choose too and she has do so in her right. And he made his choice and exercise his rights to have a mistress.

      • Don’t mistook right with loophole. It is not a right to ruin other people lives. She just take advantage of South Korea law to her side that would normally already give the the husband approval for divorce in other countries. There is a lot of people taking advantage of the law in SK. You can check the latest new(Seungri,YG, Burning Club). This is some example. She is just one of them.

      • @ hohliu

        1. Pointing out how she’s making herself toxic not speculating.

        2. Her “right”?, she’s using that to trap him in a relationship that is no longer a partnership. It’s more like abuse.

        3. You’re right I am not her But I’m learning that from her example, Don’t try make bad relationship work.

      • @Jae @Oziar – do you know SK law? “abuse”? no one forced him to marry her “for better or for worse” 30 years old… Adulteress have to be burnt in hell imho.

      • @Ozier – who is ruining whose life? I say the mistress and husband is ruining the wife’s life by flaunting their cheating life.

        Mistress is young and pretty, why in the world do you think she is dating someone that can be her dad or grandpa?

        The wife made her decision, if the law is on her side, even better. If he passes away first, she will get all the inheritance, which I think is the smartest idea. The wife might think that there is nothing she can get from the divorce. Everyone already knows he is cheating. Divorcing him is like giving him what he wants, so either way, she can stay marry and get the full inheritance or divorce and probably get nothing if he hides all his assets. I have never seen a husband that cheats is willing to give the wife her deserved share of the assets.

      • @jkfan you do know that the husband has try to get a divorce even before he are in a relationship with Kim Min Hee, she was the one who refused every single time. The husband met Min Hee like years after he try to divorce her. If the wife has divorce him at the time, he will be single at the time he meet min hee.

        It is cheating because the wife make it like that. Not the husband fault. The daughter is still close to him and min hee. If he die, i would think he already has a will that let his daughter take most of his asset and living some to min hee. His wife won’t get a penny, well maybe a bit. That is what i would do.

      • @Oziar, he destroy the life of his wife, mother of his kids and his supportive wife when he was a nobody….There is no loophole, it is a very straight forward case. You must be about 16yrs to even suggest Burning Suns and this can be comparable. No point talking to someone clearly not bright and very immature.
        You do not believe in marriage wows and I do, he wants to end the marriage, he can get her fully consent. Otherwise, there is no case.
        I am still laughing at how you can connect this divorce case to Burning Suns….
        I am a lawyer, I dont need lessons on what is legal Rights and your non existence loophole…What a Joker.

      • @hohliu

        Why should he stay together with her if there is no love anymore. Marriage vows is for both spouse. If one of them lose their love and don’t want to be together anymore, it is their right as it is their life.

        I am the son of a lawyer. I have a real life law dictionary walking at home to check.

      • @Jae:
        1)Is she toxic. Dont know and really not my business to judge her at all
        2)ABUSE? LOL, you make me laugh.Whatever…I am glad I have not mt a Judge that thinks like you on any of my hearing.
        3)Good luck to your marriages.

      • @Oziar, your Father is a lawyer and he never told you what Legal rights are in different Countries. My son who is studying law now in Uni knows that basic fact. The Court is very clear on this issue. And it is no loophole as you stupidly use.

      • @Oziar – you are the son of a lawyer. hahaha… mention your father is all you can do? What are you then?? LOL. Marriage is a legal union, love aside. Who cares about who loves who nowadays? Even if you love someone, you do not need to get married!

      • @candycane

        No, i am just being honest, that i have someone real to reference to. Based on your answer on no need to get married, i assume you are not asian or someone with asian heritage but never grew up in asian countries. That is why you don’t have any idea why the husband get married and want to get divorced. Or maybe you do but you just want to see someone suffer like her.


        I should have used another word. She cleverly make use of their law to their advantage like YG.

      • Yg is doing an actual crime to other people physically and get away. She is tormenting him emotionally. I know the scale is different and should have used another example but this is the hottest case currently. My bad

    • @candycane

      in the beginning, they were in love, so they get married. However years later, the husband love faded. So, he try to get a divorce but the wife refused. Sk law stated for divorce, either both parties consent or 1 of them have adultery. So, he can’t get a divorce. He met min hee years later.

      • @ candycane

        As you said, the love faded. He doesn’t want to live with her or have a connection with her. It is his right and she is basically forcing him to.

      • Oh no, he signed the contract. Now he wants to bail out and he needs her approval. Too bad… He has not been living with her for the longest time. He does not need to have a connection with her. She does not force him into anything. He is the one who is forcing her to sign the paper which she disagrees. It is tougher to get her to agree now that he has violated his oath.

    • @candycane

      Didn’t Koala stated on article about SK Law? SK Law does not allow no-fault divorces. Either she agrees because she’s the wronged party or he show that its in her best interest that divorce happens.

      Her not coming to agreement or even consider it after multiple attempts of the guy and YEARS of asking for divorce. You don’t see that as abuse of tilting the law in her favor?

      The witch has to burn…..What era are we in…Like I said. TOXIC!

      • I can read what Ms Koala has written. You don’t need to repeat it. Why does wife have to agree after years of asking? Why?? The answer was no the first time and still a no after many years. Why can’t he stop asking? Duh ? We are now in an era of not needing to get married, don’t you know?

      • I answered your questions. You’re getting flippant now with your argument. If you really cannot see WHY…. look at Lala’s comment below.

      • I do not agree with @Lala comment. She has misquoted. Love faded and it’s his “problem”, and “problem” does not equal “fault”. We can agree to disagree. I still don’t understand why one has to give blessings to a twisted relationship. Similarly I don’t like people twisting my words because @Lala cannot read.

      • And how did I twist your word? when LaLa misquoted fault when it should be problem? You think that is the answer to the “WHY”?….reallly.
        You skipped the rest of her comment and focused on that.

      • Lol at @candycane

        Now you have to resort on personal attack by telling others that I can’t read? Lol. Base on this, I can easily tell why you are sooo offended when others are not agreeing with your opinion. Similar much with the wife? 🙂

      • @Lala – I am just stating the fact that you misquoted. It’s your own insecurities if you call it a personal attack. I am not offended. I said “we can agree to disagree” – but obviously you cannot read again. Why do you compare me to the wife? I am nowhere near being a wife. LOL. @Jae – you did not answer me anything. I agree with @hohliu – I think there is no need for the wife to give in. She shouldn’t be bothered because that piece paper has not granted her any love nor losing that will bring her any happiness. Why waste time & money on a case that won’t change her state of living now? What difference will that make to her life to will benefit her? I will only agree to a divorce if I need to remarry ?

  3. This sounds like ancient times, where the first wife is legitimate whilst mistress, will always be mistress. What’s the point of a divorce law then???

  4. Very fair!! Hubby choice to have a affair. He is happy with mistress. Wife choice to stay in marriage, she made that choice. I find that solution is very fair. Both parties got some of what they want.

    • The husband has try to divorce the wife long before the affair with Min Hee even started. The wife just don’t want to be a divorcee in South Korea and also don’t want Min Hee to marry him. It is not a fair solution and she is just someone who can’t take a hint that he is not into her like before. Kinda like a vindictive ex gf or wife we usually see in drama.

      • It is her rights. And her choice….You have your rights to exercise, she has her.

      • @ hohliu South Korea divorce system is iffy. If you look at other country, the husband can divorce her already. There are 3 ground for divorce (adultery, both consent,irrevocable)+ 2 years staying apart. Her husband situation fall under irrevocable and he has been staying apart for more than 5 years. So, it is not her right. She just use law to her advantage. You can see some real example happening in Korea now. Seungri and YG.

      • When you’re rights oversight the right so of another person it is no longer a right it is a crime. An unhappy marriage is just as much a crime as cheating. At this point no matter her intention the wife is coming across as a conservative, vindictive woman. She will eventually lose because no law will support such actions for a long term but she is slowly losing her chance at an alimony as well and character is diminished even more. She is harming both herself and her children just because she doesn’t want the ‘adultress’ to win but the truth is the marriage was over the minute he cheated. If a spouse cheats the marriage ends at that very minute after that everything is a facade.

    • This is the Country that only just abolish their law against Adultery in marriage afew years back. I am glad they are still respectful of any party that does not want a divorce when their partners are committing adultery. Forgot about the love ever after. It is still a culture that respect that marriage vows. Very rare in our era…
      I do respect this wife exercising her rights and her will. Her husband already exercising his choice to bed with someone else whilst in this marriage. He can continue doing so in this status.

      • Marriage is just an institution to force people into long term committed relationships and take responsibility.Human beings don’t function like that which is why divorce was permitted. The wife and husband are both wrong but he has made his point for years that he doesn’t want to be married to her anymore. If he was leaving his wife for another man then everyone here would be supporting him because then his wife would be preventing him form being true to his nature. Just because it is another woman people act that marriage is holier than thou. Many times people are forced into marriage because of family pressure or circumstance. Romanticizing marriage doesn’t make it real it is still a very suffocating institution that harms more than it helps. The wife has already lost the support of the general public in korea the court will change its laws at some point and the director will get his divorce eventually.

      • @Lin, whatever….We stand on different side. You have yours and I have mind. I wiull make no attempt to change yours. It is your rights.

      • @hohilu you’re argument is the same what misogynists say that they have the right to criticize women for being bad mother and wives for neglecting homework for office work. That kind of opinions are not allowed and are not rights they are called prejudice. What you are stating is not a right or an opinion what you are stating is prejudice. You prejudice against the other woman. Opinions like that are not permitted in this era and just like misogynists are shamed you deserve to be shamed for your conservative ways of thinking. Your words are wrong and completely biased and have no place this era.

      • @DOLL, LOL, It may not have a space in many Country but in SK, it still has a place. It is a Right given to her to decide for herself. You want to bring in other comparision that is your choice. I really have to interest in your opinion nor even want to change it. I just love the fact this sexist Country actually respect her LEGAL Rights to choose her status. Well Done.

  5. He has been wanting to divorce but the wife did not want. Thus, the open affair with Kim Min Hee. I honestly do not get those who thinks this is a fair thing for the wife to not want a divorce. This is not an ancient time where you can force people to stay married to you. I personally think that those who put blame on him for the affair are not seeing it objectively. If he has been wanting to divorce since 10 yrs ago, but can not, then, it is understandable why he is having an affair and the wife isn’t free of blame as this is indirect result when you force people to stay with you against their will

    • It’s not so easy as it seems. If she was a housewife the only way how to assure her future is staying in marriage status. Korean society is very harsh on those who are divorced, especially women. It’s not like in those countries where it became sort of national sport because both parties can’t overcome little troubles, arguments. So why marrying in first place? She can profit from his retirement and insurance. Maybe she wants be just respected and be payed for being his wife even though he was cheating several times on her. He can live well with his mistress and she will be his official representative. I think it is fair like this in her position.

      • If the society is harsh then it is the society that should have been put on trial not the marriage or the affair. Societies can only change when we challenge it which what a self respecting person would do.

      • If the society is harsh then it is the society that should have been put on trial not the marriage or the affair. Societies can only change when we challenge it which what a self respecting person would do.

  6. The wife doesn’t realize she’s holding herself hostage, all the money and revenge in the world is not worth all this.

    • She is a adult and her choice is her rights. Everyone need to mind their own rights and business as this wife is certainly doing so.

      • that goes without saying and there’s no need to repeat the same comment over and over, It still doesn’t mean what she’s doing is the best thing for her well being and herself in the long run. I truly hope she doesn’t regret her choice to hold on to this marriage for whatever reason and I understand it’s a tough situation for anyone to be in. It’s just, this is the only life we all get, this is it and she deserves better than this. It’s her life though, I wish her luck.

      • @Deb, again Deb, repeating my main point is within my rights and how ever many times Koala allows it.. Rights of females in SK are ignore very often. In such a sexist society, I am super happy the Court respect hers.

  7. Well, despite all the reasons the director and his wife have. I think both of them already know the consequences.

    I just dont understand Kim Min Hee. She’s young and beautiful, has a good career… While the director, emm.. Well preference but.. Is that really worth it being the mistress? How about her career in Korea? And it’s not even easy to break Hollywood? Hm… Love is blind, indeed.

  8. All the people who say it’s her “right”. That’s technically true, but irresponsible and vindictive.

    Imagine being unhappily married for years, but your husband is forcing you to stay married. Not giving you the right to find happiness again, or to legitimize any happiness. Living with someone can be a heavy burden, especially if said person is actively making you unhappy. No one has a right to that.

    The pursuit of happiness is a natural right and no spouse should be able to take that away be it legal or otherwise.

    • Preach

      I can’t with those who keep on repeating ‘it’s her right’. Her right doesn’t mean that it’s ok to force someone into unhappy union. And those who said love faded and it’s his fault. Err, sorry.. but that’s just happened and that’s why we have this thing called ‘divorce’. So people can have choice to be free when they are no longer willingly in a relationship

      • Goodness, your ability to exercise your rights will be important when you need it. They are not even living together. It is just a status in name and in law. This wife wants to maintain that. She is not asking for his love. She is just reject a divorce. And that is her choice in this matter. He can continue sticking his pe*is in his mistress but he will legally still be someone else husband.

      • @hohliu

        You don’t need to directly talk to me about what you think is right as it’s very obvious we are standing on different side. For me myself, I don’t see how it’s right to force someone to stay marry when that person is not willing. That’s not how marriage should be

      • @Lala, as long as this is a public forum, it is within my RIGHTS to reply to anyone….That is within my rights as you have quoted my comment on rights in your opinion thus I have the right to reply too.
        Irresponsible and vindictive. Such slander are equally irresponsible and vindictive.

  9. Personally, if it were me, I’d let him have the divorce. I do understand why the wife is holding on. You marry someone, devote yourself to that union, have children, and then the level of disrespect with the side piece. I get it, but he had to have had that in him before. I doubt it’s his first time cheating. He doesn’t seem to have any shame. It would be to the wife’s benefit to let go. The sooner she does, the sooner he can cheat on this one cause karma is real. Everybody have to learn a lesson.

  10. Even if i don’t understand why she wants to stay married with him, it’s her decision and no one never knows what’s going on behind the curtains. ” Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ignore ” Pascal. That’s so true .

  11. Wow..the comments on this article. Somehow, I think most comments on here about the wife should let go and why is she holding on are from people that are not married or not married long enough or have kids.

    I don’t know the people in this article, however, there are other reasons why the wife might not want to divorce yet, maybe for the childrens right to the inheritance, to her right to the inheritance or there are other reasons.
    She might no longer be in love with him, however, if he is holding on to assets and hiding it, and SK will not let him divorce, then I side with the wife. Also, if this is the wife’s revenge on the mistress and husband whereby the mistress can not call herself a wife, then I am all for the wife too. Why should the two shameless cheaters get what they want?

    Why is YG or SEUNGRI even brought up in the comments. This story is about marital issues involving a young mistress not about a sex scandal, how in the world, would the two issues even be the same?

    • The daughter is an adult already.The reason why he can’t get a divorce is because it need both parties consent or adultery. At the beginning when min hee were not in the picture, he applied but the wife decline. As it did not fulfil any requirement, the husband can’t get married. He met min hee years later.

      You are talking as if the husband cheat on her when the marriage was already broken even before the relationship happen. His asset is out in the open. There is no problem, only a vindictive wife who lost her husband love and fear the divorcee title.

      The daughter has a good relationship with her father and min hee. So, there will no inheritance problem. I bring Yg because of the way they use the law to their favour. In other countries, seungri would have been charged by now and the husband can get a divorce.

    • The daughter supports the divorce and has been trying to convince the mother to agree but she is deluded enough to believe her husband will come back to her. That mindset is selfish and pointless.

    • I too find those that even try to compare this case to Seungri and Burning Sun a huge Joke.
      This wife is given the legal right to choose and she has done so. I dont understand who so many people cannot respect that. He has disrespected her from the start, She does not feel she wants to give in to his demands. As long as she is living contently in her current status why change it.

  12. If it’s not revenge, it’s money. From a practical standpoint, she would suffer a probably massive decrease in her income in the future. And from her perspective being a 50+woman whose life could be totally changed could be scary-and maybe she feels that after 30 years she’s earned the right to reap the rewards of staying with him. Being dumped when you are older sucks but it’s obvious that there is nothing there from him. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

    • even there is nothing from him, at least she does not need to pay for a divorce lawyer to process her share of the papers. It is an extra expense that she does not need to bear. It’s a waste of money on her part.

  13. They should write a drama out of this story.

    Whatever the reason why the wife rejected the divorce. Revenge? The husband probably was a jerk towards her during their marriage. Whatever her reasons, bless her heart and mind. Holding to something which is no longer there is useless and brings nothing. It can only damaged her emotionally and psychologically.

  14. I understand why the court is siding with Hong Sang Soo’s wife. IF the court easily grant divorces to all cheaters, high divorce rate will increase. It will create social problems with many single parents household just like what we have seen in Western countries. My guess SK is not ready for that.

    • Wow, well done for pointing out social problems that arise in broken marriages and divorces. The Court do not base their judgement on just the two parties respectively. The laws are drawn with many social aspect in mind. People these day marry and divorce so easily. They do not realised how much damage these can do to their society on top of their family.
      Anyway, the Courts respected her Rights and as a adult, she will bare all the consequence of her decision.

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