S. Korea student suicides hit 139 in ’12


Nearly 140 South Korean school students killed themselves in 2012, according to a new government report that cited family problems, depression and exam stress as the main triggers.

The report, published this week by the Education Ministry, recorded 139 suicides last year — the lowest for three years, but still worryingly high in a country with one of the world’s highest overall suicide rates. Of the total, 88 were high school students, 48 from middle school and just three from elementary school.

South Korea has the highest suicide rate among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, with an average of 33.5 people per 100,000 taking their lives in 2010, far higher than Hungary (23.3) and Japan (21.2) which ranked Nos. 2 and 3.