Suicide rate in South Korea soars

The suicide rate in South Korea has more than doubled in the past decade, the government said this week.  South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world; for citizens in their 20s and 30s, suicide is the leading cause of death.  Some analysts say the act has become normalized by a spate of high-profile suicides, including those of actor and singer Park Yong-ha, — who hanged himself last year at age 32, and former President Roh Moo-hyun, who jumped off a cliff in 2009.  Others blame the proliferation of suicide groups on the Web, where youths make pacts to kill themselves together.  “When a situation is bad and they can’t show their cool selves, Koreans tend to get frustrated, give up, and take drastic choices,” said Hwang Sang-min, a professor of psychology at Yonsei University.