10-year-old South Korean girl kills herself

A fourth grader in Gangwon Province is believed to have killed herself Tuesday morning, leaving a letter that read, "Life is too tough."

The police said the 10-year-old was found dead by her mother in the garden of their apartment building where they lived on the 11th floor.

"After I received a call from her teacher that she did not come to school, I scolded her on the phone since it was a test day. She did not answer the phone when I called her again. I felt strange and went home to find her," the 37-year-old mother, whose name was withheld, told the police.

A family photo was placed on the terrace of the family apartment with the letter in which she said, "I am sorry. I am doing this because life is too tough," according to police.

The student reportedly gave her belongings to her friends and left eight of them a letter.

In the investigation, it was discovered that the girl had searched on the Internet for painless ways to die.

The report said her relationship with her schoolmates was good and that she also did well in school.

Her mom was working a nightshift the day before the girl's death and her father had been away from home for work. The girl was left alone after her older sister went school in the morning.

"Considering she left long letters to her family and friends, we think that she had prepared for the suicide beforehand," the police said. The police will investigate further to ascertain what led to her death.

Meanwhile, a 15-year old student is believed to have jumped from the eighth floor of an apartment on Tuesday morning in Incheon, west of Seoul.

He was taken to hospital but is in serious condition.

Student suicide has become a major social issue recently. In December, a middle school student was found dead in an apparent suicide after months of bullying by two schoolmates.

A teacher was indicted without detention on charges of discarding official survey documents about school violence and playing down the seriousness of the results.

The bullies were sentenced to three years in jail and two and a half years respectively last month.

Data from 2010 issued by Statistics Korea shows that the number of Korean teenagers who took their lives that year was 353. Suicide was the biggest cause of death among teens.

According to 2011 government data, the main reason for teen suicide was thought ot be family problems followed by depression and school grades.

Korea had the highest suicide rate in 2010 among member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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