(2nd LD) Arrest warrant issued for rape suspect in Seoul

A Seoul court issued a warrant Saturday to arrest a 30-year-old man accused of assaulting and raping a woman on a hiking trail in Seoul earlier this week.

The Seoul Central District Court granted the warrant for the suspect, citing the risk of flight and the "gravity" of the case, just hours after the victim died following days of unconsciousness.

The suspect, surnamed Choi, was put under police custody Thursday shortly after he allegedly beat and raped the victim he randomly picked on a hillside trail in Seoul's southern district of Sillim.

Police authorities are reportedly considering investigating him on suspicion of raping and killing the victim rather than on the initial allegations of raping and injuring her.

Before attending the arrest warrant review process at the court earlier in the day, Choi told reporters that he was not influenced by a recent stabbing rampage in Bundang, south of Seoul, which killed one person and left dozens of people wounded.

Asked if it is true that the suspect argued he had attempted to rape the victim but failed, he said "yes."

The suspect has told police that he wore brass knuckles on both hands and assaulted the victim, while admitting to assault and rape charges.

Alcohol and drug tests conducted on him were negative.

An inspection is under way into his medical and mobile phone records to determine whether he has medical history of mental illness.

Police are considering publicly releasing the suspect's name, age and photos in consideration of the gravity of his crime and conducting a psychopathy test on him.

Source: Yonhap News Agency