Op-Ed: The tragedy in Seoul should force South Korean society to consider the despair of the next generation. One woman’s story of a young friend who didn’t make it home.
By Lee Myung-bak
SEVERAL weeks after a young woman from Seoul, South Korea, took her own life, Park Joo-hwan, the 19 year-old who had been missing for two weeks, was discovered on the banks of a river with a gaping neck wound.
Her body was lying face down. It had been there since the Thursday night on which, according to police, she went missing.
The police say that the woman, Hye Ji-hyeon, whose mother was one of the people who discovered Park after the disappearance, tried to commit suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills. The drugs had been found in her room.
Police say the young woman hanged herself because of a relationship which she was unable to stop.
The authorities have a huge amount of evidence. There were also reports that Park was seeing another man for a few days after she left the boy.
Police say Park is also known as HJ-yoon. So, the name she was given in her last diary, before she vanished, was Hye Ji-hyeon.
Park met at least two of the “love” suspects, Lee Eun-young, and Kim Dong-kook, in the Seocho-dong neighborhood of Seoul where she lived with her parents.
Park was still a student. After the two love suspects started dating her, she dropped out of school and, according to police, spent most of her time at her “boyfriend’s” house.
Park’s family have been looking for her since Saturday, when she failed to attend classes at their Catholic elementary school in Hyehwa-dong. Park’s father, Park Sung-ro ( Park was his given name and also his second name), and his two sisters, Park Hye-ji and Park Jeong-ok, have spent the last few days holding vigil at Seocho-dong. Park Sung-ro, and his two sisters are in their 20s.
The police say they took statements from more than 100 people, including family members, acquaintances, and school