Online political argument ends in real-life murder

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Online political argument ends in real-life murder

A bitter online battle has ended in murder after an unemployed Gwangju man stabbed a woman he had been having a political argument with to death.

The Haeundae Police Precinct in Busan has arrested the man, surnamed Baek, for killing the woman, identified as Kim, on July 10.

The two, both 30 years old, first met on the politics discussion board of a Web forum called DC Inside in 2010 and became close due to their shared liberal views on domestic politics.

Their relationship grew strained after the man called the woman “promiscuous” on the board last year. She threatened to file a defamation suit but didn’t follow through after the man apologized. Kim had become influential on the site as many members viewed and admired her posts.

She began to grow more conservative, and the two started arguing again when she confronted Baek about some of his liberal-leaning political opinions earlier this year.

He often put up posts praising the legacy of former liberal presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, and Kim began refuting his comments. They were also sharply divided over issues pertaining to North Korea and a recent National Intelligence Service scandal over allegations that it meddled in the last presidential election.

The conflicting views spiraled into streams of vulgar invective between them as they engaged in personal attacks on each other.

Enraged, Baek tracked down Kim’s personal information, eventually obtaining her address and photograph via a chatting site.

He travelled from Gwangju to her hometown of Busan on July 5. For five days, he carefully planned her murder in motels, scoping out her home in Haeundae three to four times in advance.

The social site gave him clues about Kim’s daily movements, enabling him to surprise her and stab her to death as she left home.

Police arrested Baek after finding him hiding in a Busan motel on Tuesday.

“Unlike other criminals, Baek still had the knives he used to murder her,” said a police source who wishes to remain anonymous because the investigation is undergoing.

“He doesn’t seem to feel guilty and was very calm and fearless when he explained how he carried out the murder,” the source said.



BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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