[News] Actor Park Yong-ha's demise sparks wave of suicides?

SEOUL : Just a day after popular Korean actor-singer Park Yong-ha hung himself, singer Roh Jin-woo from rock band Lazybone attempted to off himself by jumping into the Han river but survived when the police rescued him, reported Chinese media.

According to a police statement, Roh, 31, said he was "suffering from depression" and started having "suicidal thoughts" after hearing of the "Winter Sonata" actor's demise on June 30.

However, Roh's manager claimed that the singer was simply drunk at the time and accidentally fell into the river.

Roh may have survived this incident but a 40-year-old female owner of a Korean production house was not so lucky.

She apparently hung herself with a belt at home on July 1, leaving behind a suicide note that read "I am sorry mother!"

Another 49-year-old woman had also hung herself on that same day. After examining her suicide note, police have expressed that the woman, who was a fan of Park, may have taken her own life to follow her idol.

Park was the latest of a number of entertainers to kill themselves. They include top movie actress Lee Eun-Joo, who committed suicide in 2005, and Choi Jin-Sil who died in 2008.

Suicide is the highest cause of death among those in their twenties and thirties in South Korea, which in 2007 had the highest suicide rate among members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The health ministry said 23.9 in every 100,000 South Koreans committed suicide in 2007, compared with 19.4 in Japan, 16.7 in Finland, 14.2 in France and 14.0 in Switzerland.

- CNA/ha 

Sr: CNA (Channel News Asia)

This is really saddening; it seems like being an idol is really not easy. Rest in peace...

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