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Korean travel writer killed in the Philippines

June 22,2019
A Korean travel writer has been shot and killed in the Philippines, Korean police said Friday.

Joo Young-wook, 58, was found dead by a pedestrian in a forest beside a road in the northern Philippine city of Antipolo at 7:15 a.m., Sunday, the National Police Agency (NPA) said.

At the time of discovery, his mouth was gagged, his hands were tied behind him with duct tape and he had been shot in the forehead, according to the police.

Local police belatedly confirmed Joo’s identity on Tuesday when they discovered a hotel room key during his autopsy and found that he had stayed at a hotel in Makati, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the scene.

The Korean Embassy in Manila received news of the homicide from the hotel at around 11:00 a.m. that day, the agency said.

Joo left for the Southeast Asian country on Friday, and was scheduled to check out Monday morning, according to the agency. A three-member NPA investigation team was dispatched to the Philippines on Wednesday, the agency said. Joo had worked as a travel columnist while operating a travel agency since 2013.

A total of 54 South Koreans have been murdered in the nation, where security is unstable, since 2012.