Edition:
United States
Pictures | Mon Jan 21, 2013 | 6:28am EST

South Koreans face lonely deaths as Confucian traditions fade

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, does kitchen work in a space that consists of a toilet, bathroom and kitchenette in her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, does kitchen work in a space that consists of a toilet, bathroom and kitchenette in her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul...more

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, does kitchen work in a space that consists of a toilet, bathroom and kitchenette in her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
Close
1 / 8
Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, walks after washing her hands through a space that consists of a toilet, bathroom and kitchenette in her tiny rented apartment with two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, walks after washing her hands through a space that consists of a toilet, bathroom and kitchenette in her tiny rented apartment with two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam...more

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, walks after washing her hands through a space that consists of a toilet, bathroom and kitchenette in her tiny rented apartment with two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
Close
2 / 8
Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, closes the door of a refrigerator in her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, closes the door of a refrigerator in her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, closes the door of a refrigerator in her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
Close
3 / 8
Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, looks out of the door of her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, looks out of the door of her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Kong Kyung-soon, 73, who lives alone, looks out of the door of her tiny rented apartment that has two square meters of living space in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
Close
4 / 8
Kang Bong-hee, representative of a federation of funeral directors that manages funerals free of charge for people who are unable to afford their own, carries the funeral ashes of Yoon Sook-hee to bury them together with the ashes of people without family or friends, at a cemetery in Daegu, about 300 km (189 miles) southeast of Seoul January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Kang Bong-hee, representative of a federation of funeral directors that manages funerals free of charge for people who are unable to afford their own, carries the funeral ashes of Yoon Sook-hee to bury them together with the ashes of people without...more

Kang Bong-hee, representative of a federation of funeral directors that manages funerals free of charge for people who are unable to afford their own, carries the funeral ashes of Yoon Sook-hee to bury them together with the ashes of people without family or friends, at a cemetery in Daegu, about 300 km (189 miles) southeast of Seoul January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Close
5 / 8
Kang Bong-hee, representative of a federation of funeral directors that manages funerals free of charge for people who are unable to afford their own, pours a drink just before he buries the funeral ashes of Yoon Sook-hee together with the ashes of people without family or friends, at a cemetery in Daegu, about 300 km (189 miles) southeast of Seoul January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Kang Bong-hee, representative of a federation of funeral directors that manages funerals free of charge for people who are unable to afford their own, pours a drink just before he buries the funeral ashes of Yoon Sook-hee together with the ashes of...more

Kang Bong-hee, representative of a federation of funeral directors that manages funerals free of charge for people who are unable to afford their own, pours a drink just before he buries the funeral ashes of Yoon Sook-hee together with the ashes of people without family or friends, at a cemetery in Daegu, about 300 km (189 miles) southeast of Seoul January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Close
6 / 8
Choi Gyeong-ja, who lives alone, watches TV in her apartment in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Choi Gyeong-ja, who lives alone, watches TV in her apartment in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Choi Gyeong-ja, who lives alone, watches TV in her apartment in Seocho-gu, adjacent to the posh Gangnam suburb, in Seoul January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
Close
7 / 8
Graves with the ashes of people without family or friends are seen at a cemetery in Daegu, about 300 km (189 miles) southeast of Seoul January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Graves with the ashes of people without family or friends are seen at a cemetery in Daegu, about 300 km (189 miles) southeast of Seoul January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Graves with the ashes of people without family or friends are seen at a cemetery in Daegu, about 300 km (189 miles) southeast of Seoul January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Close
8 / 8

Next Slideshows

China's metrosexual men revive luxury shopping

HONG KONG/MACAU (Reuters) - Let's hear it for the boys. China's fashion-forward men are snapping up Gucci and Burberry bags, driving a rebound in the luxury...

Jan 21 2013

China's metrosexual men revive luxury shopping

HONG KONG/MACAU (Reuters) - Let's hear it for the boys. China's fashion-forward men are snapping up Gucci and Burberry bags, driving a rebound in the luxury...

Jan 20 2013

Surgery scheduled to restore Bolshoi ballet director's eyesight

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet will undergo surgery next week to try to save his eyesight after an attacker threw acid in...

Jan 19 2013

Float in inaugural parade to highlight unique Gullah Geechee culture

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - A unique culture maintained by African slave descendants along the U.S. southeastern Atlantic coast will be featured with...

Jan 18 2013

MORE IN PICTURES

Hurricane Maria slams Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria slams Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria dumped heavy rain on the U.S. territory after destroying buildings and knocking out power to the entire island.

Alabama Senate race heats up

Alabama Senate race heats up

Political big guns show up to support rival candidates ahead of Alabama's Senate special election.

Inside the U.N. General Assembly

Inside the U.N. General Assembly

World leaders from 193 member states gather for the global body's annual meeting.

Cleaning up in the Florida Keys

Cleaning up in the Florida Keys

Residents survey the damage after Hurricane Irma blasts the Florida Keys.

Melania in the garden

Melania in the garden

First lady Melania Trump tends to the White House garden with children from a local Boys and Girls Club.

Jewish New Year

Jewish New Year

Jewish faithful around the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

Countdown to German election

Countdown to German election

On the campaign trail as Germans prepare to go to the polls.

Mexico reels after devastating earthquake

Mexico reels after devastating earthquake

Rescuers toil to find survivors in the rubble after a devastating earthquake in central Mexico killed more than 200 people.

Milan Fashion Week

Milan Fashion Week

Backstage and collection highlights from Milan.

Trending Collections

Pictures

Podcast