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S Korean actor apparently kills himself

Associated Press
Jun 30, 2010 at 01:42pm IST

Seoul: A popular South Korean actor and singer was found dead Wednesday in an apparent suicide that would be the latest in a recent string of high-profile suicides in the Asian country, police and a news report said.

Park Yong-ha, 33, apparently hanged himself in his home in Seoul, Yonhap news agency reported, citing police.

An official with Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency told The Associated Press that Park was found hanging by the electric cord of his mobile phone battery charger. However, police were still trying to determine the exact cause of death, the official said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

Popular S Korean actor apparently kills himself

Park Yong-ha commits suicide (AP)

Park debuted in the late 1990s and starred in the 2002 television drama "Winter Sonata," which drummed up a following in Japan and Southeast Asia. He held several concerts in Japan and one of his fans was said to be its former first lady Akie Abe.

Yonhap reported no suicide note was found, but the Seoul police agency said Park told his family "I'm sorry. I'm sorry" while massaging his father, who is terminally ill with stomach cancer, early Wednesday.

Another police agency official, citing Park's mother, said the actor had been faithfully nursing his father and had been taking sleeping pills due to insomnia. The official also declined to give his name citing department policy.

South Korea has the highest suicide rate among the 30 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and a number of them recently were high-profile.

Choi Jin-sil, one of South Korea's most famous actresses, committed suicide two years ago. In March, her younger brother, Choi Jin-young, also an actor, killed himself in Seoul.

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