We report on a herpes-like virus, which was found to be associated with mass mortality of common carp Cyprinus carpio for the first time in Korea in 1998. The external signs of infection in moribund fish were darkened coloration and severe branchial necrosis in the gill. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of herpes-like viruses in spleen tissue. Infected spleen cells showed hypertrophied nuclei and degeneration. Numerous nucleocapsids of about 82 nm in diameter were found within the nucleus and cytoplasm of infected cells, and extracellular enveloped particles were also observed. We conclude that this virus was a likely significant cause of the high mortality of common carp in Korea in 1998.