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Police: folk singer’s daughter died 10 years ago

Sept 21,2017
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Kim Kwang-seok
Yongin Dongbu Police in Gyeonggi confirmed on Wednesday that Kim Seo-yeon, daughter of the late folk singer Kim Kwang-seok, died in 2007 due to acute pneumonia.

The confirmation came amid the questions over the death of the singer, who is known to have committed suicide in 1996, after the recently released documentary film “Suicide Made” questioned whether Kim’s wife murdered him.

“The autopsy by the National Forensic Service reveals Seo-yeon passed away due to acute pneumonia,” police told Yonhap. “There weren’t any traces of wounds and an analysis of toxic substances confirmed that there were no chemicals found besides those commonly used in cough medicines.”

Police also confirmed the doctor’s documents that said Seo-yeon had been checked for the flu before she died, in addition to the mother’s verbal statement saying that Seo-yeon visited the doctor near their home.

The mother said she first found Seo-yeon lying unconscious inside the house in Yongin, Gyeonggi, at 5 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2007. The mother immediately contacted the police. Seo-yeon was then moved to the hospital but was declared dead at 6 a.m.

“The investigation was closed after checking several documents, including autopsy results, as there was no suspicion of a crime around [Kim Seo-yeon’s] death,” said police.

Kim’s wife, surnamed Seoh, reportedly own Kim Kwang-seok’s building and hold the copyright of his musical works.

Korea Music Copyright Association and the entertainment company CJ E&M are responsible for the distribution of Kim’s songs, and Recording Industry Association of Korea have been paying copyright money to Seoh.

Seo-yeon’s death was first revealed by Lee Sang-ho of GObalnews on Wednesday.

Lee, a former journalist for MBC, has been questioning the singer’s death for years, and released the documentary last month. Lee argued that the death is alarming because the singer’s wife had been telling her acquaintances that her daughter was in the United States when asked about her whereabouts.

Lee also said in his article that a more detailed investigation on Seoh should follow. The Korea JoongAng Daily reached out to Lee, but after agreeing to speak, he was found to be unavailable to talk on the phone.

BY HONG YOU-KYOUNG [hong.youkyoung@joongang.co.kr]