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    Apr 16, 2014

    Online addict starved son to death


    SOUTH Korean police have arrested a man for allegedly allowing his toddler son to starve to death while spending days playing online games at Internet cafes, they said yesterday.

    The 22-year-old man with the surname Chung was arrested on Monday after the badly decomposed body of the two-year-old boy was found in a trash bag near the south-eastern city of Daegu, city police said.

    The case received extensive media coverage in South Korea, where the ruling conservative party is pushing a Bill that would classify online gaming as potentially addictive, in the same way that drugs, gambling and alcohol are.

    TV stations aired CCTV footage of Chung in the lift of his apartment building, checking his hair in the mirror with one hand while holding a trash bag allegedly containing his dead son in the other.

    The details echoed a notorious 2010 case that shocked the country when a couple allowed their three-month-old baby to starve to death while they played video games.

    In late February, Chung's wife started working in a factory far from the city, leaving her unemployed husband to care for their child.

    But he spent most of his time in Internet cafes, visiting home every two or three days to feed the child.

    The police said he found the boy dead on March 7 and left the body at home for more than a month, before finally dumping it in a garden about 1.6km away.

    The police said Chung initially reported the baby missing, but later confessed to disposing of the body.

    A Daegu police detective working on the case said that Chung would likely be charged with homicide and abandoning a body.

    Online game addiction is seen as a serious problem in South Korea - one of the world's most wired nations with a thriving gaming industry.