Chinese tourists are apparently trying to getting themselves banned from the popular South Korean resort island of Jeju. Just one week after a restaurant owner was attacked by a group of rowdy Chinese tourists, a woman has been stabbed to death by another visitor from the mainland.
Korean police say that a 50-year-old Chinese tourist surnamed Chen stabbed a 61-year-old Korean woman surnamed Kim while she was praying at a local chapel at around 8:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. After being stabbed four times by the man, Kim was able to call emergency services. She was quickly rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to save her life and she died the next day from her wounds.
Meanwhile, Chen fled the scene of the crime and the city itself. He was finally caught by police at 3:50 p.m. in another city on the island, according to The Korea Times.
After questioning, police revealed that misogyny may have been behind the horrific murder.
“He said he visited the chapel to repent but lost control of himself when he saw the woman who resembled one of his ex-wives,” said Park Ki-nam, chief of the local police station. “It appears that he has a deep-seated resentment of women.”
Chen told police that his first and second wives both cheated on him and ran away from home (we wonder why). “When I saw a woman praying alone at a church, the thoughts of the wives suddenly flashed through my mind and I attacked her out of anger,” Chen said according to The Korean Herald.
Even with Chen’s confession, police are not ruling out the possibility that the murder was premeditated. Chen had visited the chapel twice before and had purchased the knife while he was on the island.
Chen entered Jeju Island on September 13th and was scheduled to leave on September 22nd. Chinese tourists are able to enter Jeju visa-free for 30 days, but with two sensational crime stories topping the news this month, locals are beginning to call for an end to this privilege.
Earlier this month, eight Chinese tourists were arrested for starting a brawl at a local restaurant on Jeju Island, allegedly after being asked by the restaurant owner not to bring drinks in from outside. In the fracas, the 53-year-old restaurant owner was hit over the head with a glass bottle. Chinese media has tried to downplay the incident by pointing out that the woman is a Chinese national of Korean ethnicity living in South Korea.
But the same flawed argument can not be made about this crime, and it appears that locals are just about fed up with unruly Chinese tourists. 2,000 people have signed a petition to revoke visa-free entry to the island for mainland travelers, The Korea Times reports.
The local government first began allowing Chinese tourists to enter the island without a visa in 2008, resulting in a massive spike in tourism numbers, but also in crimes and arrests of foreigners. Last year, 393 foreigners were arrested in Jeju, up from 90 in 2009.
“The number of crimes committed by foreigners is rapidly increasing on the island,” an anonymous police officer told the Yonhap News Agency last week. “We will firmly exercise governmental authority to make sure foreign tourists don’t get away with committing crimes.”