[Writer's Choice] South Korean Man Killed After Setting Himself on Fire

Jay Yim, July 19, 2019, 1:22 p.m.


A man in his seventies died after he was set on fire inside his car in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

According to a statement from the local Jongno Fire Station, "it is presumed that the man, using 20 liters of gasoline and butane gas in the car, tried to set himself on fire."

The accident occured at around 3:24 a.m. Friday. The man died from his injuries in the hospital hours later, suffering from extreme second degree burns to his chest, arm and face.

The motive behind these mans actions are still unknown.

The incident occurs amid rising tensions between Japan and South Korea for a numerous occasions of disputes, including a widening trade row and spat stemming from colonial-era reparations.

Earlier this month, Japan made an announcement that it would curb the export of materials of high-tech that are used in memory chips and smarthpones to South Korea. This action from Japan was dubbed by South Korean President Moon Jae In as a "blow to the economy", which he suggested could threaten global supplies.

Export restrictions were imposed after the top court in South Korea said that citizens have the righit to sue Japanese companies for the forced labor used during World War II.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had denied the two issues are linked. He said the court has ruined the trust between the two countries and accused Seoul of repeatedly rejecting "long-standing friendly ties between the countries."

The relations between South Korea and Japan stem back decades to Japan's colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula in the early 20th century.

Anti-Japanese demonstrations were previously staged by South Koreans at the embasy in Seoul.

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