Burdened S.Korean official found dead in China

Senior public servant's body discovered next to hotel, days after fatal bus crash struck visiting group of South Korean government employees

Burdened S.Korean official found dead in China

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The president of a South Korean state-run institute was found dead in China on Sunday, next to the hotel where he was staying in the northeastern city of Jian.

Reports concerning the death of Choi Doo-yeong were confirmed by the South’s public administration ministry later in the morning, though it was not immediately clear whether he had taken his own life.

News agency Yonhap quoted a government official as stating that Choi “felt a heavy responsibility” for a fatal bus accident on a tour that his institute had organized -- Jian city investigators have blamed the speed at which the vehicle was traveling.

Ten visiting South Koreans were killed in the incident last Wednesday afternoon, along with their Chinese driver, when the bus veered off a bridge along a mountain road with a speed limit of just 40 kilometers (25 miles) per hour.

Nearly 150 officials from the South were on the training tour arranged by the Local Government Officials’ Development Institute -- Choi headed out to Jian a day after the accident.

Chinese authorities are reportedly looking into the possibility that he might have fallen because no suicide note has been discovered.

But further clues may be found in South Korea, which has one of the world’s highest suicide rates.

The South has seen multiple cases of high-profile figures taking their own lives after suffering a sense of public shame. They include scandal-hit late former President Roh Moo-hyun in 2009 to a vice-principal following last year’s Sewol ferry disaster, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of teenage students on a school trip.

Earlier this year, a list of names was left behind by a businessman who committed suicide while under investigation for alleged corruption -- the controversy led to the resignation of then Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo in April.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Temmuz 2015, 10:27