Thursday, August 23, 2012

South Korea: Brutal mass stabbings raise alarm about social outcasts (And possibly coming to a Western city near you)

An unemployed man carried out a stabbing spree on Wednesday in Seoul, marking the fourth knife attack to take place in Korea in less than a week.

While public anxiety grows, experts say that dissent against society, a sense of being deprived and isolation from society are to blame.

According to experts, social outcasts have a tendency toward explosive expressions of emotion when their pride is hurt, and their anger and anxiety can result in such attacks.

The latest attack took place in the financial district Yeouido, when a 30-year old unemployed man stabbed two of his former coworkers and then proceeded to stab two passersby at random as he was being chased by onlookers who intervened.

The attacker, identified by the surname Kim, attacked the former coworkers as revenge for him being dismissed by the company two years ago.

During police questioning, Kim said that he considered suicide but felt that it was “unfair” for him to die alone and chose to attack the two former coworkers, who according to Kim had mistreated him in the workplace.

“In general people who are alienated from society and those whose social status has fallen rapidly can resort to such acts in order to make their voice heard,” said Park Soon-jin, a Daegu University professor who specializes in criminal psychology and criminology.

“These individuals may share a sense of depression, but psychological analysis of those who commit acts of indiscriminate violence rarely shows signs of mental illness.” more