Seoul's mayor vowed on Wednesday to increase the number of surveillance cameras in city parks following the brutal rape and murder of a teacher on a busy hiking trail last week.
Police have accused the suspect -- identified on Wednesday as Choi Yun-jong -- of selecting his victim at random and lying in wait on a section of trail in Seoul's Sillim district that he knew was not covered by CCTV. He then allegedly beat and raped the woman, who later died of her injuries.
The crime has shocked South Korea and sparked outraged calls for a councilman in the district, who announced last year on YouTube he was cutting the area's "women's safety" budget, to resign.
"The crime was meticulously planned (and) he attempted to sexually assault a random woman in a public place, causing her death," police said of the suspect, according to the Yonhap news agency.
Suspects' identities are not typically made public in South Korea, but police said Wednesday they had decided to identify the man "in consideration of public interest, such as people's anxiety over repeated crimes", Yonhap reported.
The victim, who has been identified only as a female elementary school teacher in her 30s, was seriously injured and died at the hospital two days later, Yonhap added.
Seoul mayor Oh Se-hoon said Wednesday the city would increase the number of surveillance cameras in parks and on hiking trails across the capital to reduce "crime blind spots".
"Seoul was famous as a city where women could feel safe walking alone," he said. "If indiscriminate crimes continue, Seoul's image as a safe city could be tarnished."
South Korea is generally a very safe country, with a murder rate of 1.3 per 100,000 people in 2021, according to official statistics.
But the country has witnessed a string of high-profile violent crime incidents in recent weeks, including two mass stabbings.
People stop to admire the evening view of the Han River in Seoul on August 17, 2023. (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)