A 64-year-old South Korean man set himself on fire after a heated dispute with a matchmaking agency that refused to arrange a marriage on his behalf.
According to a report from local news outlet JoongAng Ilbo, the Jeju Island man doused himself with gasoline from a plastic bottle that he was carrying. The incident occurred during a heated conversation with an employee from the company, which helps South Koreans arrange marriages with international partners.
JoongAng Ilbo reported that the Jeju East police and fire departments responded to the incident on January 16 at around 1 p.m., local time. South Korean authorities did not disclose the company’s name and identified the man only as “Mr. A.”
Jeju East police and fire departments did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap News, the staff at the marriage agency attempted to throw water on the man and put out the fire. However, the man suffered third-degree burns to his face and body and remains unconscious. The police department added that it continues to investigate the incident.
An initial police probe found that the agency refused to provide the man with a match because he had previously been married to a foreign woman, Yonhap News reported. South Korean immigration laws prohibit applying for a second marriage visa for a foreign spouse within five years of receiving the first one.
Acts of self-immolation are rare but do happen in South Korea. One notable incident occurred in 2019 when a South Korean man in his 70s set himself on fire outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul. The motive for his actions remains unclear.