On page 6 of the September 26, 1998 edition of the Korea Herald, the following letter was published in the 'Letters to the Editor' section:
On September 12, 1998, the Grand Forks Herald published the following obituary on page 3:Hate Crime?To the editor:
On Sept. 7, 1998, a Korean man walked into Sunchon Boys High School and asked if there was an American teacher employed there. Upon locating the American teacher, the man engaged him in a brief conversation, then proceeded to stab him in the back as he was walking away, going down the stairs from the second floor. The victim, Scott James Kennedy, 33, from North Dakota, died upon arrival at a hospital in Sunchon.
When interrogated, the attacker said that he murdered Scott because he didn't want Americans here teaching Korean children. It was also noted that he said foreigners should not be allowed to hold jobs here while many Koreans are unemployed. It should be noted that Scott's murderer had a history of mental instability and was institutionalized in the past.
Although Scott's murderer has a history of being mentally unbalanced, I believe that labeling him a "freak," "psycho" or "lunatic" would be an attempt to comfort and protect ourselves from the horrific crime.
Is this yet another repercussion of the economic crisis sweeping through Korea?
I do believe that most Koreans welcome foreigners here and encourage the teaching of their children by foreigners. If resentment is felt toward foreigners here, let us pray that it is not as deep rooted as it was in the case of Scott Kennedy's murder.
Scott Kennedy, 33, Bismarck, formerly of Grand Forks, died Sept. 7, 1998, in Korea. Scott James Kennedy was born March 14, 1965, the son of James and Patricia Kennedy, in Crystal, N.D. He moved with his family to Bismarck in July 1966, where he attended and graduated from high school. He graduated from UND, with a degree in aviation administration. He worked in the airline industry until March of 1996. He moved to Sunch'on, South Korea, where he was teaching conversational English in Sunch'on High School.He is survived by his parents, Bismarck; sisters, Molly Kennedy, Bismarck, and Kim (Paul) Soderholm, Fargo; and a grandmother, Eileen Kennedy, Bismarck. Services: 3 p.m. Tuesday in Lutheran Church of the Cross, Bismarck.As I mentioned previously, a search on KINDS turned up nothing about his death in Korean-language newspapers; nor were there news reports about it in the Korea Times or Korea Herald.