Soldier dead after attack by private in Chuncheon

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Soldier dead after attack by private in Chuncheon

A 20-year-old private at Chuncheon Army Hospital in Chuncheon, Gangwon, allegedly stabbed and killed another, more senior, private on night duty in the early morning yesterday.

After the stabbing, which took place at about 3:50 a.m., an officer patrolling the site shot the 20-year-old suspect, surnamed Oh. Oh was hospitalized with a gunshot wound in the shoulder yesterday, but the injury is not life threatening. It is not yet clear what caused the private to attack his 22-year-old fellow soldier.

“We are investigating the details of the incident, but the investigation is in the initial stage,” said Kim Min-seok, a spokesman at the Ministry of National Defense. “We still don’t know whether it was premeditated.”

“What we can confirm is that the private who committed murder had returned from a break Thursday evening and stabbed his senior with a weapon that he possessed.”

The patrol officer said that he shot Oh because the man would not put down the weapon, which was not identified, after 20 minutes of warnings. The military said it would look into whether there had been any abuse or other problems that could have precipitated an attack.

Such incidents have become a major concern for the military after several high-profile incidents. In July 2011, a Marine corporal shot and killed four marines and wounded another on a Yellow Sea island base near the border with North Korea.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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