After a seven-year-old girl became the latest victim of a recent series of sex crimes, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has offered a public apology.
"I apologize to the people on behalf of the government," Lee said during a rare visit to the National Police Agency in Seoul, one day after the rape case in Naju, South Jeolla Province.
"Strengthening public safety should be a policy priority," he added, according to presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.
Police later arrested a 27-year-old man surnamed Koh for kidnapping and raping the girl, who has been hospitalized for treatment for a ruptured intestine.
The case came only days after a 42-year-old convicted sex offender wearing an electronic anklet attempted to rape and then killed a 37-year-old woman in her home in eastern Seoul.
Recent police data showed a total of 19,489 sex crimes were committed last year, which puts the daily average at 53, a 6.7 percent increase from 2010.
The government has said it plans to increase police manpower, with up to 700 additional police officers set to oversee sex offenders deemed most likely to re-offend.