Death of toddler sparks outrage in South Korea


Jan. 5 (UPI) — South Koreans are petitioning for a heavier sentence for a couple charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligence after the death of a toddler.

The death of the 16-month-old girl, identified only by her given name, Jeong-in, has sparked public outrage and debate in the country about the need for tougher laws against child abusers. South Koreans also have been paying tribute to the girl at a public memorial with toys, letters and cards, local network MBC reported on Tuesday.

Jeong-in was adopted by a couple seeking a companion for their 4-year-old biological daughter last January. According to local press reports, the girl was hospitalized in October with bruises and bone fractures. Several wounds also were identified on the toddler’s head, and the child reportedly suffered three cardiac arrests before she died, JoongAng Daily reported Monday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called on agencies to revise guidelines for adoptions. His prime minister, Chung Sye-kyun, said Tuesday laws would be strengthened to punish child abusers, the Korea Herald reported. South Korean police failed to respond to earlier reports of suspected child abuse, according to reports.

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