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Military spent 42 hours before arresting a runaway solider

Military spent 42 hours before arresting a runaway solider

Posted June. 24, 2014 04:21,   


An Army sergeant identified by his last name Lim, 22, who killed his comrades in a shooting rampage at an outpost of the 22nd Infantry Division and ran away, has been arrested alive after a suicide attempt and taken to hospital on Monday.

Lim, who was engaged in a standoff with troops at a low-lying mountain in Goseong County at 2:55 p.m., fired a shot between his left chest and shoulder with a K-2 rifle. Soon after the incident, the troops collected Lim’s rifle and ammunition, and took him to Gangneung Asan Hospital by a chopper after receiving first aid at the military’s Gangneung Hospital. A military source said, “Lim is conscious, but is heavily bleeding.”

Earlier at 8:20 a.m. on the day, the troops approached as close as 7 to 8 meters off Lim and asked the troubled soldier to turn him in. During the process, Lim talked to his father over the phone, which was handed to him by a commander on site, and was given bread, combat ration and drinking water from the pursuing unit. Lim’s father and elder brother arrived at the scene around 11:20 a.m., and urged him to surrender for more than three hours, but he attempted suicide by firing his rifle.

The military will soon refer Lim to military police to investigate the cause of his crime and how it happened. Following Lim’s arrest, the military lifted at 3:30 p.m. on the day “Jindogae One,” the highest alert to cope with aggression that had been placed in the Goseong region, Gangwon Province.

In the wake of the tragic incident, the military authority is under fire for sloppy management of listed soldiers who are having hard time in adapting to military life. However, the military is found to have yet to figure out the exact number of such soldiers on the special watch list. After the incident, what the Defense Ministry and the Army informed the media was only the situation of such soldiers at the 22nd Infantry Division. Demanded by reporters to disclose exact statistics, a military source said, “We have not figured out the total number of soldiers requiring special attention.” Based on statistics at the 22nd Division, the military only suggests that 10 percent to 20 percent of the entire military troops are on the list, with an estimated 3 to 4 percent of them categorized as Grade A servicemen requiring special management.

On the reason it failed to figure out the exact situation of soldiers on the list, the military said, “It is because the number of soldiers on the watch list changes daily.” The military says that tallying the exact number is a challenge due to frequent transfer of soldiers. However, military experts say that only adding up all the numbers of listed soldiers at a certain point in time will allow the military to easily figure out the entire number of soldiers on the list. A military expert says, “If (the authority) did not figure out even if it could have done, it is a dereliction of duty, and if it hid figures after securing statistical data, it is irresponsible.”