Extra! Korea

March 9, 2010

Where were the parents?

Filed under: crime, rant — extrakorea @ 2:23 pm

By now, most people have probably heard of this sad incident. What struck me is the fact that it seems (from the article and others on the same topic) that the girl was alone at home and was kidnapped.

The suspect probably broke into the house to kidnap her, said the police. All of her belongings were left in the house and footsteps were found around the building.

I can kind of understand why she was alone, given that she was in middle school, which is when Korean kids become galley slaves to hogwons and study halls, and often come home late at night.

A mother of a middle school girl in the area said that she does not know what to do about her daughter, who sometimes come back home late at night after school.

This reminded me of a couple of recent incidents in which seven-year-old boys were left alone when they shouldn’t have been.

The first incident was when a seven-year-old boy was sexually assaulted in a public bathroom for 20 minutes. Where were the parents?

The other incident was when another seven-year-old boy was home alone, and locked himself in a washing machine. His older brother later returned from school and found his body. In 2008, two nine-year-olds (in separate cases) died under similar circumstances. Where were the parents?

Granted, Korean parents seem to be wising up. My Korean language teacher told my class that when she was in elementary school, she would walk to school by herself. It took half-an-hour. She added that, because of the tragic “Na-young Incident” parents don’t do that anymore. But I want to see a steeper learning curve because these kinds of incidents upset me. And they should upset you. And they should upset parents most of all.


  1. […] the rest here. On a more reflective note, see Extra! Korea here for a brief discussion on the possible role of absentee parents in this and similar […]

    Pingback by Korean Sociological Image #34: Child Sex Offender Kim Kil-tae Caught « The Grand Narrative — March 10, 2010 @ 10:28 am

  2. Hi there, thought you might want to read my take on the case. It’s related to the strange practices of high-profile cases like these and village justice. Take a look.


    Comment by camp0400 — March 12, 2010 @ 2:58 am

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