On Sept. 7, 1998, a Korean man walked into Sunchon Boys High School, located in
the South of Korea near Kwangju, and asked if there was an American teacher
employed there. Due to a lack of security or concern by the Korea staff, the
inturder soon found the American teacher.
The man engaged him in a brief conversation, then proceeded to stab him in the
back as he was walking away, going down the stairs from the second floor.
The victim, Scott James Kennedy, 33, from North Dakota, died upon arrival at a
hospital in Sunchon.
When interrogated, the attacker said that he murdered Scott because he
didn't want Americans in Korea teaching Korean children. It was also noted
that he said foreigners should not be allowed to hold jobs here while
many Koreans are unemployed.
It should be noted that Scott's murderer had a history of mental instability
and was institutionalized in the past.
Although Scott's murderer had a history of being mentally unbalanced, I
believe that his anger and hatred are shared in various degrees by many Koreans
who have been often considered to be highly suseptible to the psychopathology
of xenophobia which is often interpreted to mean fear of foreigners, but can
just as well be understood as hatred toward foreigners.
Scott is the second American English teacher to be murdered in Korea this year.
Mr. Beau Smith, a young man from Fort Lupton Arizona, died a horrible death in
Seoul after being exploited and extorted by his Korean employer who took his
passport, airplane ticket and cheated him on his wages. His body was found
dumped into a construction site.
Is this yet another repercussion of the economic crisis sweeping through
Korea or just another example of a Korean stealing from a foreigner? In this
case, his life.