Suicide in South Korea

Published: 1.24.2018
Level 3   |   Time: 1:31
Accent: British
BBC Global News Podcast (1.23.2018)

The South Korean government wants to take steps to reduce the suicide rate in its country.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • among the highest [exp] - one of the highest
  • suicide [n] - kill oneself
  • measures [n] - steps
  • a pact [n] - a deal or agreement
  • Jong Hyun [p] - a Korean pop singer
  • high-profile [adj] - famous
  • industrialized nations [exp] - rich countries
  • barriers [n] - walls and fences
  • prevalent [adj] - common
  • warning signs [exp] - signals that something bad will happen soon
  • mandatory [adj] - no choice / obligation
  • annual [adj] - every year
  • the armed forces [n] -the military
  • social security [n] - a government system that gives money to people with a low income.

[p] - person,  [n] - noun,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. According to the report, the South Korean government ____.
    wants to reduce the suicide rate
    has started an anti-suicide advertising campaign
    has made organizing a suicide pact illegal

  2. Jong Hyun ____.
    was a K-Pop star
    recently committed suicide
    was 27 when he died

  3. Korea's suicide rate is ____.
    the highest in the world
    the highest in the industrialized world
    double the worldwide average

  4. About ____ people commit suicide in South Korea every day.

  5. In South Korea, there are barriers ____ to prevent suicide.
    on the rooftops of high buildings
    on bridges over the Han River
    in front of trains and subways

  6. The government thinks many suicides could be prevented if ____.
    economic conditions improved.
    students faced less pressure to do well in school
    people were more aware of the warning signs of suicide.

  7. _____ will have to take examinations to detect depression.
    University students
    All adults
    Adults over the age of 40

  8. These examinations will be ____.
    given every month.
    given every year.

  9. ____ will be made illegal.
    Suicide pacts

  10. Suicide prevention education will be taught in ____.
    high school
    the military

  11. The reasons for the high rate of suicide in South Korea include _____.
    poverty among the elderly
    the low birthrate
    pressure to succeed in school
    poor education

triangle Script

South Korea's suicide rate is among the highest in the world. Now the government says it's taking steps to try to reduce it with a range of measures including making organizing a suicide pact a criminal offense. The Newsroom's Jonathan Blake has this report.

The K-Pop star Jong Hyun’s death last month at 27 was one high profile example of an all too common problem. In South Korea every day, around 37 people take their own lives. The country's suicide rate is the highest of any industrialized nation - twice the worldwide average. Barriers on high rise rooftops and bridges over the River Han, which runs through Seoul, are a reminder of how prevalent suicide is. But the government says most cases could be prevented if people were more aware of the warning signs shown by those considering taking their own lives.

Among the measures announced will be examinations for depression in mandatory annual health checkups for adults over 40. Suicide pacts will be made illegal, and suicide prevention education will be required in the armed forces.

But to explain why so many people take their own lives in South Korea, some point to a lack of social security for the many elderly people who live in poverty and the pressure young people face to perform well at school. Those cultural and economic factors are not so easily addressed by government action.

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