Korean supermodel found hanged in Paris: embassy

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Twenty-year-old South Korean supermodel Daul Kim was found hanged in her central Paris apartment after an apparent suicide, the South Korean embassy said on Friday.

Kim - a regular on the catwalks of London, Milan, New York, and Paris - most recently modelled clothes from leading designers Chanel, Dries Van Noten and Alexander McQueen.

She was known for her thick mane of dark hair - which she sometimes dyed blond - and for her quirky look.

The last entry on her popular blog "I Like To Fork Myself" - posted Wednesday, a day before her death - was headlined "say hi to forever" and had a link to a video of the song "I Go Deep" by British singer Jim Rivers.

South Korean embassy spokesman Lee Seung Yoo told AFP that French police "have informed us that Korean citizen Kim Daul committed suicide in her apartment yesterday afternoon."

"One of her friends found her body hanging in her apartment" in the city's 10th arrondissement, or district, he added. "Her family are coming to Paris from Seoul and will be arriving this evening or tomorrow morning."

The Internet was awash with speculation that the pressures of the hyper-competitive modelling world had taken their toll on a woman barely out of her teens. Eating disorders and drug abuse are common in the fashion industry.

Kim's death had been announced earlier Friday by agencies she worked for, with her Paris representatives saying: "She was a top model and a great friend of all of us at Next."

Her agency in South Korea, Esteem, said in a statement: "We express deep condolences to Daul Kim's family," it said, asking everyone to respect her family's privacy at this time of mourning.

In a blog entry on October 30 at www.iliketoforkmyself.blogspot.com Kim complained after a modelling stint in Seoul that she was "getting mad depressed and overworked."

In another posting she lamented that "the more i gain the more lonely it is ... i know i'm like a ghost."

The 1.78 metre (five foot ten inch) model debuted on the runway for Chanel, Dries Van Noten, and Maison Martin Margiela in 2007 and recently appeared in a commercial for Christopher Kane's Topshop line.

Kim was also a painter and video filmmaker.

She was born in Seoul and raised there and in Singapore. She modelled in Asia, appearing in several articles in Korean Vogue, before making her fashion week debut in Paris two years ago.

There has been a spate of high-profile suicides in South Korea over the last year, including that of former president Roh Moo-hyun in May who ended his life after becoming embroiled in a corruption scandal.

Top Korean actress Choi Jin-sil committed suicide in 2008, following in the footsteps of several other actors and pop star U-Nee.

South Korea ranked third in terms of suicides per head of population among the 30 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development member nations in 2007, with 18.7 in every 100,000 people killing themselves.

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