South Korean online gamer charged over suffocating son

South Korean online gamer charged over suffocating son
A man looks into a mirror and tidies his hair while carrying a bag suspected to be containing his son's dead body in this CCTV capture, taken on Friday, April 11, 2014, in an elevator in Gumi, north Gyeongsang province.

SEOUL - South Korean police charged a man on Tuesday for the murder of his 2-year-old son after he confessed to suffocating the child so he could leave the house to go back to playing games at an Internet cafe.

On Sunday, police in the city of Taegu arrested the 22-year-old, identified only by his surname Chung, after finding the body of his child in a suitcase wrapped in a trash bag near his home. Chung had earlier reported the boy missing.

The police initially believed the unemployed man had left his son to starve to death by abandoning him for 10 days while playing games.

Chung later confessed to "covering the child's nose and mouth with his hand" more than a month ago, killing him so that he could go to an Internet cafe, a police officer said.

The whereabouts of the boy's mother was not clear, although local news reports said she had been away from the house for some time working in a factory.

South Korean television aired closed circuit TV footage of Chung that showed him getting into an elevator with a suitcase and checking his hair in the mirror, apparently on his way to dispose of his son's body.

Online game addiction is seen as a serious social issue in South Korea which has near-universal availability of high-speed Internet. The government has tried to limit minors from going online to play late in the evening by cutting their connections.

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