Another assault on Korean in Australia raises alarm

AUSTRALIA - Another Korean in Australia was seriously injured in an assault last month, raising concerns over the safety of Asian immigrants in the country.

The 33-year-old Korean, identified only with his surname Kim, was attacked on Oct. 13 by four to five people near his residence in Sydney, according to Kim and Australian police.

The attackers kicked Kim and struck his head with a golf club. The Korean ended up with two broken ribs and skull fractures, police said.

"They were hiding behind a car and suddenly attacked me and then they (fled by) car with my bag," Kim was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

This is the second case of violence on a Korean reported in Australia in less than two months. A 33-year-old Korean student surnamed Chang was attacked on Sept. 27 in a park near his school in Melbourne by more than 10 local teenagers. They cut off a joint of his little finger and broke his left arm, South Korean consular officials said.

Kim in Sydney said he wasn't able to identify any of the suspects because it was dark, but claimed that they were not Asians. He was transported to a hospital nearby and reported the case to police. However, the police are having trouble investigating the case due to lack of evidence.

Kim said he was attacked near his residence where many Asians including Chinese live. In the report, Kim said he suspects it was a racist assault but has no evidence to prove it.

Kim has been in Australia since 2007. He was working at a recruiting company in Sydney on a post-study work visa.

Meanwhile, the Australian police are currently reinvestigating Chang's case after arresting and indicting one suspect.

The Korean government officially protested the Australian police's inadequate response and called for a fair investigation.

The law enforcement agency has apologised to Chang and replaced members of the investigative team.

According to reports, two members of the new investigation team visited Chang and offered an apology for the initial investigation, admitting that it was insufficient.

Chang said he was told by police officers in charge of the first investigation that he was responsible for the case. They told him that he was in the wrong place at the wrong hours, Chang said.

Regarding the circumstances, Chang said he would prove that the attack was a racist assault targeting Asians in Australia.

Chang has been in Australia since July this year on a six-month student visa. But the Australian authorities said they would extend his visa until all legal procedures regarding the case were completed, according to the Korean consular office.

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