Korea hopes shooting will not stir up prejudice

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South Korea's foreign ministry has said that it hopes the nationality of the student shooter who killed at least 30 people at the University of Virginia will not lead to the stirring up of racial prejudice, according to reports.

Police said Cho Seung-hui shot people at the Norris Hall engineering faculty before taking his own life and it is believed that he killed two students earlier in the day at a dormitory on the same campus.

Cho Byung-je, an official at the South Korean ministry dealing with North American affairs, told the Associated Press news agency: "We are in shock beyond description."

"We convey deep condolences to victims, families and the American people."

He added that he hoped the fact that the shooter was a South Korean native would not "stir up racial prejudice or confrontation".

Tim Kanie, the governor of Virginia, was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that he didn't expect a backlash against Asian communities to occur.

"This is an incident that cuts across all the barriers. There's grief for all. I don't believe this will be seen by people in this community and others an excuse to exercise prejudice or intolerance against anyone," he said.

About 6.2 per cent of the university's students are Asian and South Korea has the largest number of foreign students in the US.

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