Sales of self-defense weapons increased dramatically in South Korea after a 23-year-old woman was brutally killed by a stranger in Seoul's affluent Gangnam district earlier this week, online marketplace operators said Saturday.
Local internet shopping mall CJmall said its sales of self-defense gadgets between Tuesday and Friday jumped 700 percent from the same period last week.
(TV Chosun Capture, original footage provided by Seocho police)
Of the total, 86 percent of purchases were made by women, the company noted, adding the rate had remained at around 30 percent until last week. Also, nearly 80 percent of all purchases were made in the Seoul metropolitan area.
Another online shopping mall, Auction, has also reported a 112 percent spike in its sales of self-defense gadgets over the cited period.
The surge in self-defense weapons apparently reflects fast-spreading fears shared by female residents after the suspect in the highly publicized murder case said he had targeted women in particular.
The 34-year-old suspect was arrested Tuesday on suspicions of stabbing the young woman, who was an utter stranger to him, multiple times at a bathroom in a building near Gangnam Station early in the morning.
The man, identified only by his surname Kim, waited for about an hour and a half for a woman to show up at the building, according to the police. When the victim, whose identity was withheld, appeared at the unisex bathroom, Kim attacked her with a knife he had brought.
During the police investigation, Kim said he had always been ignored by women.
"As violent crimes continue, more customers appear to be buying self-defensive weapons not only for themselves but also for their friends and families," an official at Auction said. "Portable items, such as sprays, are among the most popular." (Yonhap)