Friday, May 14, 2010

Suicide in Korea

Korea has the highest suicide rate ― 26 people per 100,000 ― among the 33 OECD member states. Over the past couple of years, high-profile actors Ahn Jae-hwan, Choi Jin-sil and Choi Jin-young, former President Roh Moo-hyun and business tycoon Park Yong-oh of Doosan Group have all killed themselves

Eight people were found dead at two separate spots Wednesday in apparent group suicides, reigniting fresh concerns over the reemergence of the phenomenon that shook the country last year.

Last year, a total of 11 youngsters were found dead in guesthouses or cars in Gangwon Province, in suspected group suicide pacts formulated at online communities.

Police are investigating whether they linked up on an Internet suicide site.

According to local investigators, a man and four women were found dead in a car parked in front of the Jangwoi Industrial Complex in Hwaseong, about 50 kilometers southwest of Seoul, at around 1:10 p.m. They were all in their 20s or 30s and had apparently inhaled toxic gas, they said.

Separately, three men were found dead hours later in Chuncheon, about 90 kilometers east of Seoul and 140 kilometers northeast of Hwaseong.

Police said both groups were found with burnt briquettes, and suspect a possible link between the two. Officers have found evidence that one of the women in the first group sent online messages to the rest asking them to join her on "D-day." If verified, the incidents may be the latest in a series of suicides among youngsters who use the Internet to find like-minded people.
link: Group suicides create stir again

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