Conflicts & War

Probe launched into death of another South Korean female officer

Seoul, Aug 13 (EFE).- The South Korean military is investigating the case of a female naval officer who was found dead on Thursday after allegedly being sexually harassed by a senior colleague.

The case of the noncommissioned officer, who apparently committed suicide, is very similar to one that occurred in May, when another South Korean Air Force master sergeant took her own life after allegedly being sexually harassed by a colleague.

That case had sparked public outrage as, despite the sergeant’s complaint, the armed forces apparently did not launch an investigation into the matter and instead tried to convince her to reach a settlement with her assaulter in an attempt to cover up the case.

The body of the naval officer, whose name has not been released, was found in the dormitory at the base in Gyeonggi province, near Seoul, where she was stationed just two days after military police began questioning her and her alleged assailant.

The 32-year-old woman had said that she had been harassed by a senior colleague at a restaurant at the end of May.

She was apparently transferred to a new unit, away from her alleged perpetrator, only on Monday, which raises questions about the Navy’s response to the incident.

Defense Minister Suh Wook, who was briefed on the case on Wednesday, apologized to the victim’s family.

“Considering the gravity of the case, we will form a special investigation team (…) and conduct a thorough investigation so as not to leave an inch of suspicion,” the minister said on Friday.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he was “furious” upon receiving a report on Friday on the case, which again calls into question the response to and prevention of sexual harassment and sexual abuse cases in the country’s armed forces, and ordered the case to be thoroughly investigated. EFE


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