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Korean authorities go after culprits who leaked initial reports about K-pop star Sulli's death to outsiders

Loh Keng Fatt

The Straits Times/Asia News Network

 /  Sat, October 19, 2019  /  10:45 am
Korean authorities go after culprits who leaked initial reports about K-pop star Sulli's death to outsiders

A member of the South Korean girl group f(x) Choi Jin-ri, also known by her stage name Sulli, is seen in this photo obtained October 16, 2019. (Via Reuters/File)

Abusive netizens have been blamed for the death of South Korean singer-actress Sulli whose private funeral was held on Thursday.

But who leaked the news of the discovery of the body of the 25-year-old on Monday?

Now, blame has been pinned on a firefighter who was among a team sent to Sulli's home when her manager could not contact her on Monday.

The Gyeonggi Disaster and Safety Headquarters, which has issued an official apology, said the man - who is not identified - took a photo of the reports about the incident, and forwarded it to a colleague.

The latter then made things worse by sharing the picture with other firefighters via a group chat .

At some point, the details of the tragedy popped up online.

According to the allkpop portal, the authorities have expressed shame and disappointment that "internal information was leaked externally" by firefighters, saying the latter failed to uphold the highest privacy standards expected by citizens.

The slip-up brought further pain to Sulli's family, the authorities noted.

Read also: K-pop singer decries cyber bullying after death of 'activist' star Sulli

The Fire Department will now re-examine its internal reporting system and take steps to avoid another screw-up.

The authorities have also asked those who forwarded the information, or posted it online, to own up to their mistake, failing which the police will be called in to investigate, the koreaboo portal reported.

The leak has alarmed netizens, with one posting: "Even in situations involving death, other people can't have any decency or follow protocol."

Meanwhile, an autopsy into Sulli's death has ruled out foul play but results of drug and toxicology tests are still pending.

This article appeared on The Straits Times newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post