Sign code X53… 11 people die of starvation every year


Seven years have passed since the case of the three mothers and daughters in Songpa, who died after leaving a suspicion after suffering a hardship in life. After that, several countermeasures came out, but it is confirmed that 57 people died of hunger in the last 5 years, and about 11 people each year.

It is estimated that there are more cases that are not caught in the statistics, and reporter Yoon Nara covered it.

In May of last year, a man in his 50s was found dead in a container in Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

After failing in business and divorcing, he was living alone, and he often skipped meals as his work decreased.

[이웃 주민 : 일을 하면서 함께 하시는 분들하고 식사를 같이했는데 일이 없으니까 끼니도 제대로 안 되잖아요.]

A note was also found asking for food from an acquaintance.

[경찰 관계자 : (메모에) 먹는 걸 부탁하는 그런 내용이 적혀져 있었고, 몸에 살이 많이 빠져 있었고….]

It was discovered half a year after death and was in a severely decomposed condition, and it is believed to have died after suffering from hunger.

[양경무/국립과학수사연구원 법의학부장 : 체격은 상당히 빈약하고 또 사망에 이르기까지 영양 결핍 가능성을 고려해야… 근육이나 피하지방의 양이 상당히 줄어든 그런 모습으로 보입니다.]

Most starvation occurs in a socially isolated state, and the body is left unattended for a long time, making it difficult to accurately diagnose the cause of death.

[양경무/국립과학수사연구원 법의학부장 : 부패가 돼 발견되는 경우들이 왕왕 있습니다. 부패라고 진단을 하게 되면 기아가 있었다고 할지라도 다른 사인으로 표시가 됐을 수 있습니다. (드러나지 않은 아사가 더 있을 가능성이?) 네 있습니다.]

In particular, last year, more cases were suspected of starvation due to the aftermath of Corona 19.

[서중석/전 국립과학수사연구원장 : (제가) 2020년에는 이런 기아의 조건에 노출이 되었을 거라 고 보는 시신이 한 5건에서 6건 정도를 부검한 것 같아요. 그 이전에는 (제가) 1년에 1~2건 정도 했는데.]

He is a man in his 40s living alone at an inn in Yeongdeungpo, Seoul.

It is said that after losing their job in February of last year, there have been more days of starvation.

[여관 거주 40대 남성 : 밥 세끼 먹는 게 소원이거든요. (그런데) 직장도 안 되고 그리고 굶고. 밤만 되면 서러워서 울어요.]

I applied for basic living benefits because I suffered from severe heart disease, but I am not getting any help because I have work ability and are not registered as a disabled person.

For these vulnerable groups, places that operate free sharing stores have begun to emerge.

This is the ‘0 Won Market’ in Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, which opened in the beginning of last month.

You can bring 4 kinds of necessities for free once a month, and we are looking for more than 10 people a day.

[김양유/’0원 마켓’ 봉사자 : 주로 쌀하고 고추장, 된장을 (가져가세요.) 젊은 사람들도 있어요. 30대였는데 고시원에 사는데 힘들다고 그러면서 빵만 이렇게(달라고.)]

Chronic poverty continues, which can lead to severe depression, making it difficult to ask for help around you.

[김현수/정신과전문의 : 빈곤 망상이라는 게 있어요. ‘아무도 도와줄 사람이 없다. 그리고 나는 아무 가진 게 없다’ 이 두 가지가 동반되면 어떤 도움도 요청하지 않고 자기 자신을 죽게 내버려 둘 수 있죠.]

All 57 people have died of hunger in the past five years since 2015.

If accurate fact-finding and countermeasures are not supported, hunger will continue even in Korea, the 10th largest economy in the world.

(VJ: Taec Yoon)

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