Kim Kwang Seok (김광석) is a Korean rock folk singer, and one of my favorite Korean artists.

Kim Kwang Seok

Kim Kwang Seok

Listen to this song of his.

The won-dollar exchange rate climbed yet further today, closing at 1468 won/dollar. That is nearly 52% more than what I traded at when I left Korea to travel at the end of 2007. Thus, in terms of dollars, I have lost 52% of my buying power in that time period.

Yeah, that’s depressing.

Not as depressing as these stats, though.

Korea Beat translated an article from Yonhap News , indicating that 12,174 people committed suicide in South Korea in 2007, or 5% of the total deaths. That makes it the fourth leading cause of death in Korea. Fourth!!! That makes it a more common cause of death than, say, motor vehicle accidents, diabetes, or mad cow disease.

In case you were wondering, suicide doesn’t rank among the top ten causes of death in the USA. But it does rank 8th among males, 16th among females, and is the fifth cause of death for the 25-44 age group). Source: National Vital Statistics Reports, Deaths: Leading Causes for 2004 .

In Korea, the most common method of suicide is hanging, followed by jumping from heights, drowning and taking poison. Honestly, this makes me wonder where leaping in front of the subway would rank, given that they’re installing those glass walls in front of the tracks in nearly every subway station in Seoul.
But maybe those are to prevent accidents? I’ve seen drunk men many times stumbling along the quay, and have seen photos of one drunken man teetering over the edge (he was rescued in time).

And no, suicide isn’t one of my favorite discussion topics, but I find these statistics interesting nonetheless (more so if you’re living in Korea).

Also, Kim Kwang Seok (that you’re listening to) tragically took his life in 1996.

Ironically, this track is entitled 일어나, or Get up, cheer up.


~ by nathanhendrix on February 18, 2009.

2 Responses to “Suicide…”

  1. Bad but there is one good think… it’s cheap for us to visit you :)…

  2. Yeah…the Euro is over 1800 won/euro, so it would be cheap to visit…alors rammenes toi vite ici!!!

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