South Korea’s suicide rate dropped for the first time in six years, but the almost 12 percent decrease may have little to do with improved mental health services in the world’s most suicide-prone developed country.
Around 14,160 South Koreans took their lives in 2012, compared to 15,906 in 2011, according to data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday. The suicide rate for South Korea per 100,000 people in 2012 was at 28.1, down 11.8 percent from the previous year.
The last time South Korea’s suicide rate fell in a calendar year was in 2006, but there has been a steady yearly increase up until last year. At one point, the suicide rate was as high as 20 percent of all deaths in 2009, near the height of the global economic downturn. Continue Reading »
Adopted children are at a higher risk of attempting suicide compared with their non-adopted siblings, according to a new study.
Data from a three-year study conducted by the University of Minnesota showed that 47 of the 56 children who attempted suicide were adopted. The study involved 692 adopted children and 540 non-adopted siblings in Minnesota. All of the children were between ages 11 and 21. The adopted children were taken by their adoptive parents before age two and have lived with a sibling.
Nearly three-quarters of the adopted children were foreign-born, with the majority of those from South Korea and female. Continue Reading »
Korean pop singer Son Ho-young was rushed to the hospital on Friday after he attempted to commit suicide using the same method as his recently deceased girlfriend.
Son reportedly lit a coal briquette inside his car in order to die by carbon monoxide poisoning in a church parking lot in Seoul, but he escaped from the car when it caught fire.
A passerby called firefighters and Son has since been in the hospital where he’s receiving treatment for non-life threatening injuries. Continue Reading »
A young girl was killed after a man intent on committing suicide struck her as he fell from the 11th floor of the apartment building she was walking out of with her parents, according to news reports.
The girl, 5, was killed on Wednesday in the port city of Busan, CNN reported.
The 38-year-old man who died at the scene had reportedly been receiving treatment for depression at a local hospital. The girl was taken to the hospital where she was later declared dead of a skull fracture. Her parents were not hurt. Continue Reading »
North Korea Calls Hawaii and U.S. Mainland Targets
New York Times
North Korea’s military said it put all its missile and artillery units on “the highest alert” on Tuesday, ordering them to be ready to hit South Korea, as well as the United States and its military installations in Hawaii and Guam.
The threat from the North’s Korean People’s Army Supreme Command came only hours after President Park Geun-hye of South Korea warned that the North Korean leadership could ensure its survival only when it abandons its nuclear weapons, long-range missiles, provocations and threats.
North Korea said on Tuesday that all of its strategic rocket and long-range artillery units “are assigned to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops in the U.S. mainland and on Hawaii and Guam and other operational zones in the Pacific as well as all the enemy targets in South Korea and its vicinity.”
North Korea Is Running Out of Threats
Wall Street Journal
When North Korea tosses out another threat of violence against one of its neighbors or the U.S., it’s become routine to describe it as an escalation of Pyongyang’s rhetoric.
That description captures the fact that North Korea makes a lot of threats without following through. But is there a point where it’s not even appropriate to call new threats an escalation?
South Korea Remembers Cheonan Sinking
Wall Street Journal
Memorial events are being held on Tuesday in South Korea to mark the 3rd anniversary of the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan.
In the night of March 26, 2010, the ship exploded into two parts and sank in the Yellow Sea, leaving 40 sailors dead and 6 missing, presumed dead. An international investigation found North Korea responsible for torpedoing the ship, something that Pyongyang still denies.
On Tuesday morning, President Park Geun-hye visited the National Cemetery in Daejeon and urged the North to end its provocative behavior.
Filial Pity: Is South Korea Doing Enough to Stop Elderly Suicides?
The Korea Suicide Prevention Center has a message for the people of South Korea: “Life is precious! We can protect it.” The slogan, displayed in pamphlets, placards and on its website, is meant to encourage people to seek help if they are feeling suicidal.
Kenneth Choi Joins NBC Pilot ‘Ironside’
In what would be his first series regular role, Kenneth Choi (Sons Of Anarchy, Glee, 24) has been cast in NBC’s drama pilot Ironside, a reboot of the 1967 series. Written by Mike Caleo and directed by Peter Horton, it centers on Robert T. Ironside (Blair Underwood), a tough, sexy and acerbic police detective relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting who is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases.
Choi will play Captain Ed Rollins, Ironside’s supervisor. Despite their push/pull relationship Ed and Ironside have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for each other. Choi, repped by Mosaic, TalentWorks and attorney Derek Kroeger, was recently seen in Captain America 2 and next co-stars in Wolf Of Wall Street.
Stars in Court Over Michael Jackson Killer Drug
Three actresses who appeared in court on Monday on charges of abusing the anesthetic Propofol, which became famous for killing Michael Jackson.
Lawyers for Jang Mi-inae said prosecutors failed to recognize the need for people in her profession to undergo painful treatments in order to maintain their beauty. Jang denies the charges, claiming she was given Propofol to numb the pain associated with Carboxytherapy, which involves injections of carbon dioxide gas into the skin to kill fat cells and improve elasticity.
Her lawyer said the actress tried exercising to lose weight but that failed, so she sought medical help.
Reds expect new leading man Choo to star in Cincy
Not only is the 30-year-old Choo capable of getting on first base to set the table for Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and the rest of the order, he can just as easily make it a 1-0 game after one at-bat. He’s also more than capable of driving in runs if men in the bottom third of the order reach base.
“A lot of leadoff hitters run and steal bases. I’m not that type of player,” Choo said. “I have home run power and can do damage. I always think, wherever I hit, I will do the same thing. I’m not going to change. That’s what I’ve proved with my numbers. If I see a good first pitch, I will swing. If I take a walk or get hit by a pitch — there are a lot of options to get to first base.”
Choo batted .283 with 16 home runs, 67 RBIs and 21 steals in 155 games last season for Cleveland. He also struck out 150 times. But in 99 games as the leadoff hitter, he batted .310 with a .389 on-base percentage. Lifetime, regardless of his spot in the order, his OBP is .381.
Fans Get a Chance to See Kim Yu-na Up Close and Personal
About 400 fans got to see Korea’s figure skating queen up close and personal on Monday during an event at COEX in Samseong-dong, Gangnam, south of the Han River. Fresh off her victory at the World Championships, Kim Yu-na revealed some of her superstitions and quirky habits to an enthralled crowd.
“Many skaters think that it’s propitious to put the right skate on first, and so do I,” said Kim. She explained that when she puts the left one on first absentmindedly, she takes off both skates and starts over.
Far from home country, Koreans in Chile carry on traditions
Almost all of the tables are occupied this afternoon in Sukine, a small diner, and the air is filled with a confusion of languages. A party of British tourists near the window is enjoying a bowl of chili paste fried pork — the house favorite. At a smaller table nearby, a Korean woman and her two daughters have just given their order to a young Chilean waiter. A couple that just sat down is studying a large menu on the wall with images of over 20 specialties, from kimchi stew to rice cakes in spicy paste, while behind the register, an older Korean woman is nonchalantly flipping through the pages of a newspaper.
This restaurant in the Patronato neighborhood of Santiago, the capital of Chile, seems to be the point where the Korean community and mainstream Chilean society intersect. Trendy among Chilean youth and a source of comfort food for Korean residents, Sukine is a vibrant example of how Koreans here adhere to the traditions of their homeland while adapting to those of their adopted country. Except for the diced South American hot peppers, the food is authentic; hidden within the kitchen, though, is a Peruvian chef.
Kakao Talk Unveils Trial Version for PCs
Kakao Talk, the hugely popular free mobile messaging app, has expanded to personal computers with a trial version released Tuesday. Traditional instant messaging giants are on alert as their users might move to the new service.
“We received more than 210,000 applications for testing the trial service ahead of the official launch,” Kakao said on Monday. “We will allow 10,000 people to try the service for a couple of months and then officially release it around May.”