Marine suicide again, chief talks of responsibilityThe Marine Corps is in shock after another officer was found dead in his office early yesterday and the commander of the Marines hinted he may resign.
A Marine Corps second-division sergeant major surnamed Bae, 48, was found hanged in his office in Gimpo, Gyeonggi, at 5:55 a.m., yesterday, by a fellow marine on the base, the Marine Corps said.
Military authorities said they sent his body to the National Forensic Service for an autopsy. He is suspected to have committed suicide because of personal problems, but no suicide note was found.
Although the sergeant major was in the same division as the marine who last week killed four fellow soldiers and tried to blow himself up with a hand grenade, authorities said the suicide was likely to be unrelated to the shooting spree because they occurred on different bases.
Investigators are now questioning family members and other people who knew the sergeant major.
According to the Defense Ministry, an average of around 100 soldiers committed suicide each year from 2005 to 2010. Many are young men doing their compulsory military service.
The Army said Wednesday that a lance corporal surnamed Lee, 21, killed himself in his barracks on July 4 after telling his family that he was suffering in the service.
Yoo Nak-jun, commander of the Marines, told Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin during a reporting session on July 12 that he would “take all responsibility for the recent case,” referring to the shooting spree at the base on Ganghwa Island, according to the Marine Corps. The Defense Ministry denied yesterday that Yoo expressed his intention to resign.
By Christine Kim [email@example.com]
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