Mentally ill man stabs new Vietnamese bride

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Mentally ill man stabs new Vietnamese bride

A Busan man with a history of mental illness fatally stabbed his Vietnamese wife eight days after she arrived in Korea, prompting the government to plan measures that would prevent mentally ill men from going abroad to seek wives.

Busan Saha District police sought a warrant to detain the man, surnamed Kim, 47, on charges of murder on Friday, and he has been put in custody for further investigation.

According to investigators, Kim punched his 20-year-old wife in the face and then stabbed her in the stomach at 7:25 p.m. Thursday in Sinpyeong-dong, Saha District, after a quarrel.

Kim called the police and said he had “killed a person.” Police persuaded Kim to turn himself in.

Kim told investigators that he suffers from mental illness and heard a ghost telling him to kill his wife while the two quarreled.

Police are investigating whether the matchmaking company that introduced Kim to the Vietnamese woman screened candidates for mental illness, as they found Kim received treatment in a mental hospital 57 times in the last eight years.

The couple was married in January in Vietnam and have lived apart while waiting for the woman’s visa. She arrived in Busan on July 1.

The shattered “Korean dream” of the Vietnamese victim prompted the Ministry of Justice to announce preventive measures Sunday that will require Korean men seeking foreign wives to take a class at the Korea Immigration Service before they leave the country.

“The Justice Ministry is taking this issue very seriously,” said An Kyu-seok, a Justice Ministry official. “Those who marry abroad without taking the immigration office’s class prior to their departure will not receive a visa for their spouse.”

Details of the new program will be announced this month or August, An added.

The immigration office is expected to require Korean men to prove they informed their wives-to-be of any past record of domestic violence, mental disorders or human trafficking.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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