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Ms Kim, who met her husband through a dating agency in South Korea, is currently pursuing a Ph D in sociology at NUS, and shuttles back and forth between Korea and Singapore.Singaporeans who are single and ready to explore becoming attached can take a page from South Korea's vibrant dating scene and embrace dating agencies, said Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo.

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"I was very much into work and studying, and at some point, it just wasn't enough.

I was looking for something more and wanted someone to share my dreams with," said Ms Kim of her decision to sign up with a dating agency in South Korea about two years ago.

Mrs Teo visited Duo's headquarters in the glitzy Gangnam neighbourhood, which is frequented by celebrities and well-to-do Koreans, and which was made popular by Korean hip-hop artist Psy's 2012 hit song, Gangnam Style.

Making reference to this, Mrs Teo said in her Facebook post: "Dating 'Gangnam style' may be deliberate but still fairly cheerful and relaxed, and very often aided by family, friends or professionals." In earlier comments to reporters during the visit, she said dating agencies in Singapore will need to take into account the local culture to be successful.

One way of doing so is through dating agencies, an industry which is well-established in South Korea.

Its more than 1,000 dating agencies are found mostly in the capital Seoul, and it is not uncommon for parents to sign their single children up at these agencies.

For instance, Singaporean parents may be less keen than their Korean counterparts to pressure their children to date or to sign them up with a dating agency.

One agency success story which Mrs Teo cited in her post is that of newly-married Ms Kim Minhye, 34, who is pursuing a Ph D in sociology at the National University of Singapore and shuttles back and forth between Korea and Singapore.

USING DATING AGENCIES Single Koreans may be discreet in not openly advertising the fact, but if asked, they won't deny it either.

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