Under the revised Act on the Prevention of Suicide and the Creation of Culture of Respect for Life, due to take effect early July, a person who seeks out other people to die with, suggesting details on how to commit suicide or uploading content which encourages others to take their own lives, such as pictures, videos or texts, can be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison or a fine of up to 20 million won ($17,907).
The act also enables the emergency services to request the personal information and the location of a person attempting suicide from mobile carriers, in a bid to rescue the victim.
The act was revised last year amid the government’s continuous effort to tackle the country’s high suicide rate. The rate has been declining slightly every year since 2011, according to Statistics Korea, but Korea ranks second highest in the number of suicides among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member states.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Welfare launched a suicide hotline 1393 in December 2018, which provides consulting services for people who have suicidal thoughts.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)