Indiscriminate Knife Attacks Spark Fear

A raft of indiscriminate knife attacks over the last four days is spreading fear around the country. On Wednesday evening, an unemployed man identified only by his surname Kim, stabbed two former colleagues on a sidewalk in front of the Lexington Hotel in the financial district of Yeouido, but was captured by police as he attempted to flee.

Kim was intoxicated and waited for the two victims to leave their office before stabbing them, according to police. As he was escaping, Kim stabbed two passers-by, inflicting serious wounds.

Kim, who was a temp in a financial company, apparently told police that the two had said bad things about him and used him, eventually causing him to lose his job. The assault caused panic among the rush-hour crowd.

A police vehicle approaches the scene where a man stabbed two former colleagues in Yeouido on Wednesday evening. A police vehicle approaches the scene where a man stabbed two former colleagues in Yeouido on Wednesday evening.

At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, a man identified as Yoo began slashing passengers with a box cutter on a subway train leaving Euijeongbu Station north of Seoul after being chided for spitting. The 10-minute rampage left eight people injured. And at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, a man in his late 30s attempted to rape a woman in a bar in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, and stabbed one person to death and injured four others.

"Pent-up frustration and rage in a highly competitive society have caused the recent attacks against indiscriminate victims, and this was compounded by copy-cat behavior," said Kwak Keum-joo, a psychologist at Seoul National University.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 23, 2012 10:53 KST