Asia-Pacific

South Korean star Park Yong-Ha found dead

South Korean actor and singer Park Yong-ha pictured in Seoul in 2009
Image caption Mr Park had been nursing his terminally ill 62-year-old father

A popular South Korean actor and singer has been found dead at his home after an apparent suicide, police said.

Park Yong-ha, 33, was reportedly found by his mother after apparently hanging himself with an electrical cord.

Police said Mr Park had been under pressure trying to manage his entertainment company and career while his father was battling cancer.

If confirmed, Mr Park would be the latest in a string of South Korean celebrities to take their own lives.

It follows the deaths of film star Choi Jin-sil in 2008 and Lee Eun-joo in 2005.

Successful career

Mr Park had been nursing his 62-year-old father and spent his last moments with him on Tuesday night, local media reported.

"I must be sick instead of you, father. I'm sorry, I'm sorry," a police statement quoted Mr Park as saying before his death.

Mr Park also told acquaintances earlier in the week that his work was "difficult and this kind of life is so hard", the report said.

Police said there was no suicide note but that they were not treating Mr Park's death as suspicious. They said he had no history of depression.

Mr Park shot to fame for his role in the 2002 hit TV drama series Winter Sonata, during which he developed a following in Japan and other Asian countries.

He later released albums as a singer. He was scheduled to start filming in July for a Korean television drama called Comrades, Almost a Love Story - a remake of the popular 1996 Hong Kong film.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among South Koreans in their 20s and 30s.

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