NATIONAL

Man sets self on fire in apparent protest against Japan’s trade curbs

By Kim Arin
  • Published : Aug 1, 2019 - 13:52
  • Updated : Aug 1, 2019 - 17:08

A 72-year-old man was hospitalized after setting himself on fire near Sejong Center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, Thursday morning.

Fire authorities said the man attempted self-immolation at 8:34 a.m. at a park near the performing arts theater.

Police found at the scene a bag believed to belong to the man, inside which were a written note asking Japan to “retract export curbs” along with a flier which read “people demand Abe apologize,” and a book on Kim Bok-dong, a victim of Japan’s wartime sex slavery who passed away recently.

Police have yet to confirm if the items belonged to the man.

Police added the man was not involved in any anti-Japanese groups or activities.

Jongno Police Station said the man sprayed an inflammable liquid on himself and set fire with a lighter. A passerby extinguished the flames before the firefighters arrived, but he was sent to hospital with severe body burns.

The man, who is being treated at Seoul National University Hospital, suffered second-degree burns over 80 percent of his body.

Police are investigating the man’s motives and circumstances surrounding the incident. 


Police taped off area in Gwanghwamun, where a man set himself on fire Thursday morning. (Yonhap)

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)