The Constitutional Court in Seoul upheld a ban on tattooing on Thursday, confirming South Korea as the only developed country that permits no one but medical professionals to perform the procedure.
Tattoo artists derided the decision, calling it backward and lacking cultural understanding.
Despite the decades-old ban, South Korea has nearly 50,000 tattoo artists, who risk police raids and prosecution for practising their trade. read more
Violating the ban is punishable by fines of up to 50 million won ($41,300) and prison terms - usually two years, though the law provides for as much as life.