In a shocking turn of events, South Korea has been hit by a series of knife attacks, leaving the nation on edge. On Friday, police detained a man suspected of wielding a knife and stabbing a high school teacher at Songchon High School in the city of Daejeon. This incident follows a separate, seemingly random attack on Thursday in Seongnam, where 14 individuals were wounded near a bustling subway station.
Authorities at the Daejeon Metropolitan Police Agency have not yet disclosed personal information about the suspect involved in the Friday morning attack, merely describing him as a man in his late 20s. It is believed that the suspect, who had been waiting outside a classroom, targeted the teacher upon his exit. The police assert that this suggests a certain level of acquaintance between the two individuals. No details regarding the teacher’s health condition have been released.
President Yoon Suk Yeol swiftly responded to the escalating violence, calling for “ultra-strong” law enforcement measures to restore faith in public safety. The Thursday attack in Seongnam was regarded by President Yoon as a “terrorist attack on innocent citizens.” A car rammed onto a crowded sidewalk before the driver disembarked and began stabbing indiscriminately at people in a shopping mall near the Seohyeon subway station. At least two individuals are in critical condition from the car collision, while eight others are receiving treatment for serious injuries resulting from the vicious stabbings.
Police are currently interrogating a 22-year-old suspect, though no details regarding his identity or motive have been released. During the interviews, the suspect appeared incoherent, claiming to be pursued by an unspecified source. According to authorities, the suspect had purchased the two knives used in the attacks from a different shopping mall the day before, although there is no concrete evidence to suggest that he had premeditated the assaults.
Forensic units have examined the halls of the AK Plaza where Thursday’s attack occurred, with photographs from the scene capturing the aftermath of the violence. Witnesses have recounted the scenes of chaos and panic as they sought refuge from the assailant. This horrifying attack in Seongnam marked South Korea’s second mass-stabbing incident in a month, following a similar incident in Seoul in July.
In response to Thursday’s attack, President Yoon called for enhanced monitoring of social media to identify threats, increased deployment of law enforcement officers for prevention, and equipping them with better suppression gear. The National Police Agency Commissioner General, Yoon Hee-keun, announced an indefinite “special surveillance” period, during which police officers will step up patrols and implement stop-and-search activities to thwart potential assailants. Yoon Hee-keun further emphasized that officers will be authorized to use firearms or taser guns promptly in cases of violent crimes.
As investigations into these horrific incidents continue, the citizens of South Korea are left grappling with the shock and fear caused by these ruthless attacks. Authorities are working diligently to ensure the safety and security of the public and restore confidence in the nation’s law enforcement agencies and public safety measures.