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News – Suicide in S. Korea

October 2008

Suicide in S. Korea


South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the developed world, a statistic considered by many South Koreans as a national disgrace. Reasons for the high rate are said to include the nation’s rapid social change and growing economic divisions in the country.

     Government officials are particularly concerned about the increasing number of elderly people who take their own lives – in 2006 nearly three times more than the number a decade earlier. They blame illness, poverty and a lack of preparation for old age in South Korean society.

     Now new policies are to be implemented to try to deal with the problem, including improved welfare provision to tackle financial hardship. Other measures would also be implemented, including blocking pro-suicide internet sites, restrictions on sales of pesticides and building more barriers on station platforms to stop people jumping under trains.

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