Embassy issues warning to Koreans in Australia

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Embassy issues warning to Koreans in Australia

The Korean Embassy in Australia yesterday issued guidelines to Koreans residing there, warning of “king-hit” attacks. The announcement follows a recent string of random acts of violence against youths living in Australia.

The embassy, through a statement, requested Korean residents in Australia “to pay special attention” to frequent acts of violence, providing a list of emergency contacts.

The embassy described so-called king-hit attacks as “acts of violence committed within Australia by youths without particular reason,” upon random, defenseless passersby.

Just a week ago, 18-year-old Daniel Christie was critically injured after an attack on New Year’s Eve. He was attacked by a 25-year-old man while walking with his brother in King’s Cross in New South Wales, Sydney.

Christie is still in the hospital for life-threatening injuries, and doctors have said that he is likely to face severe brain damage. His alleged attacker, Shaun McNeil, faces assault charges and had a prior assault record.

The attack follows a string of similar incidents over the past year, including the murder of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly, who was killed after a random attack in Kings Cross in 2012. Kelly was killed by a 19-year-old boy with one punch to the head.

Koreans residing in Australia have seen an alarming number of murders and acts of violence over the past year.

In November, a 22-year-old Korean college student named Ban Eun-ji was found beaten to death in a pool of blood in a park in Brisbane.

Shortly after the discovery of her body, 19-year-old Alex Reuben McEwan was arrested in connection to the crime. Police said that the incident appeared to be a random act.

Ban, a college senior, arrived in Queensland in mid-October on a working holiday visa and was working as a hotel cleaner.

The working holiday visa is available to young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who want to tour the country or learn English. It enables them to find short-term jobs for a maximum of one year.

Last month, Kim Min-tae, a 28-year-old exchange student, also on a working holiday visa, was found murdered and buried in a shallow grave by a house in Algester, Brisbane. A 28-year-old Korean man, Hwang Sang-hyun, from South Brisbane was charged with his murder.

The embassy said these acts have mostly occurred between midnight and 6 a.m., usually in crime-ridden districts.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]
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