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Military field operation specialist tapped as new Army chief

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Published : 2014-08-07 16:04
Updated : 2014-08-07 16:04

Gen. Kim Yo-hwan, chief of the Army's Second Operations Command, has been nominated to become the country's new Army chief, the defense ministry said Thursday.

Kim, 58, a specialist in field operations with broad experience in the Army, will succeed Gen. Kwon Oh-sung, who offered to resign on Tuesday, holding himself responsible for the brutal death of an Army conscript in April.

"After the approval of the Cabinet during a weekly meeting slated for Friday, President Park Geun-hye is expected to appoint him," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said.

Gen. Kim, who served as deputy Army chief, was nominated by Defense Minister Han Min-koo based upon his expertise in joint and field operations as well as his experience in the fields of education and training, Kim told reporters.

Extending again an apology for the conscript's death, the ministry vowed to "recover the public trust and to start the Army anew under Kim's leadership."

Lt. Gen. Lee Soon-jin will become Kim's second in command, it noted.

The death of the Army private first class is the latest in a series of incidents that have laid bare the chronic problem of bullying in the barracks and a rigid military culture.  (Yonhap)