Gov't to expand investigation into death of 23-year-old army conscriptUpdated: 2014-08-06 06:36:29 (KST)
Speaking about the 23-year-old young soldier who was bullied to death back in April, President Park Geun-hye vowed to carry out a stern investigation and punish those found responsible.
The comments came during a cabinet meeting Tuesday morning, a day after Defense Minister Han Min-koo apologized to the nation over the failure to prevent such an incident from occurring.
"It's a military commander's basic responsibility to send enlisted men back to their parents safe and sound. We feel a great burden over this incident."
The 23-year-old Yoon was bullied severely by his comrades back in April when he was forced to hold a horse-riding stance until the early hours of the morning and told to lick spit off the ground.
He choked to death after being hit in the chest by five of his comrades.
The Army announced it will consider pressing murder charges against the five soldiers found responsible for young soldier's death.
This is just another in a series of bullying incidents in recent months, public distrust about the military's poor management is growing.
An army sergeant who'd been bullied by his comrades went on a shooting rampage back in June,.. killing five.
"When my son goes to the army, I'm going to check his body whenever I visit[to see if he has been physically abused]. I'm worried he may have to go through the same thing and be forced to hide it."
Harsh military practices and a distorted rank-based culture, which seniors can use to abuse junior enlisted soldiers has long been prevalent in the military.
To maintain a strong defense against North Korea, all South Korean men are mandated to serve in the military, but the recurrence of abuse-led deaths has the nation deeply worried about the safety of their sons in the military conscription system.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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