Korean community shocked by grisly Auckland suitcase discovery

The local Korean community is shocked there is a likely link between the deaths of two children and a migrant from their home country.

By Amy Williams for rnz.co.nz

The Associated Press has reported that a relative of two children whose bodies were found in luggage in Auckland was likely in South Korea.

An official at Korea’s National Police Agency told the Associated Press the woman was a Korean-born New Zealander in her 40s who arrived in South Korea in 2018.

Auckland Korean leaders have been fielding calls from concerned members of their community about the recent discovery.

Korea-New Zealand Cultural Association co-president Diane Lee said: “When we heard about the news we [felt] shocked and we just see it as a tragedy situation.”

She contacted the police to express concern and willingness to assist with any investigation.

Korean community leader Joy Kim runs safety education programs spanning topics such as road rules to family violence, through the Asian Safety Education and Promotion Charitable Trust.

The community was waiting for more information and praying for those involved, she said.

“A few leaders contacted each other and we started praying because what we can say, what we can do.”

Kim said knowing migrants from Korea were highly educated was adding to the shock.

The community was willing to help the police with the investigation, if needed, Kim said.

“Any time they need help then we can get involved but we’re so shocked, what can we say.”

Human rights lawyer Tony Ellis said extraditing the person from South Korea who was believed to be linked to the criminal case in New Zealand would be simpler if they were not a citizen of Korea.

If the person was a citizen of South Korea, the country might refuse, he said.

New Zealand police declined to comment on the investigation.

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