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Gyeonggi governor’s son probed for military abuse

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Published : 2014-08-17 21:17
Updated : 2014-08-17 21:17

Military authorities are investigating the first son of Gyeonggi Province Gov. Nam Kyung-pil on charges of beating and sexually harassing his junior colleagues at his unit of the Army’s 6th Division in Pocheon of the province, according to Army officials.

Nam’s 23-year-old son, a corporal, allegedly beat a 21-year-old private first class for not properly carrying out his duty. The corporal is also purported to have hugged a 19-year-old private first class and hit an area near his pants’ zipper.

The corporal is said to have admitted to his beating charges, but denied the charges of sexual harassment. His charges were revealed after his unit carried out a survey of unit members to stamp out abuse at barracks.

The incident came as the military was struggling to shore up public trust following a series of bullying and abuse cases at frontline barracks. Some of the cases resulted in suicide and even a shooting spree, and promoted the government to set up a panel to revamp what critics say a closed, rigid military culture.

The governor made a public apology on his Facebook account on Sunday for not properly educating his son.

“I deeply apologize to the victims and their families. It is all my fault as I ― part of the high social class ― did not properly educate my own son,” he said. “My son will receive due punishment in accordance with the law. As his father, I will also deeply repent (for his alleged wrongdoing).”

Meanwhile, government data showed that 7 pecent of senior military officials were rated as having “psychological difficulties.” According to Rep. Jeong Kab-yoon, who received the data from the military court, some 5,400 of the 81,000 commissioned and noncommissioned officers examined were judged to have psychological difficulties.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)

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