The Korea Herald

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Police seek arrest warrant for Army officers over death of recruit

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : June 19, 2024 - 12:34

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College friends of a conscripted soldier who died after a disciplinary drill walk into a funeral parlor in Naju, South Jeolla Province, to pay respects to the deceased on May 29. (Yonhap) College friends of a conscripted soldier who died after a disciplinary drill walk into a funeral parlor in Naju, South Jeolla Province, to pay respects to the deceased on May 29. (Yonhap)

Police on Tuesday requested an arrest warrant for two Army officers who are under investigation for their part in the recent death of a recruit.

Investigators at the Gangwon Provincial Police Agency requested the warrant for an Army captain and a lieutenant, the commander and second-in-command for the company the deceased soldier had been part of. The two are being investigated for alleged death by occupational negligence and abuse of power, and had been summoned by Gangwon police since June 13 for questioning.

The two officers are suspected of ordering a "pack drill" for the deceased soldier and five other conscripted soldiers as a disciplinary action on May 23, demanding that the soldiers do pushups and run laps around the training ground in full combat gear. They are also believed to have ignored the deteriorating physical conditions of the victim, who died two days later.

The nongovernmental Center for Military Human Rights Korea revealed that the victim's death was caused by multiple organ failure due to septic shock.

The Army has since confirmed that the disciplinary training session was not in accordance with military regulations. Walking in full combat gear and doing pushups are both included in the military guidelines for physical training, but not running or pushups in full gear.