Go to contents

Defense minister: ‘Collective bullying exists in military’

Defense minister: ‘Collective bullying exists in military’

Posted June. 26, 2014 03:59,   


On the cause of a fatal shooting spree at an outpost of the 22nd Infantry Division at Goseong County, Gangwon Province, Kim Kwan-jin, the chief of the presidential security office and defense minister, said on Monday, “Collective bullying exists in the military.” His remarks will likely spawn controversy, because they indicate that collective bullying against Sergeant Lim, 22, could have been the cause of the accident.

At a parliamentary questioning on pending issues at the National Defense Committee on the day, Kim made the remarks, saying, “Further investigation is needed to find whether (collective bullying) itself was the only cause of the accident.”

He went on to say that “Loopholes have been discovered even though the military authority created a personality survey system and thus filtered out soldiers requiring special attention. We will prepare measures to fundamentally prevent recurrence,” adding, “We will improve the management system for guns and ammunition, conduct personality surveys in all soldiers, and reclassify soldiers requiring special attention.”

Members of the parliamentary National Defense Committee unanimously blasted the ministry for its botched initial response and controversy over use of fake patient for Lim. Asked whether issuing the highest alert and defense level of "Jindotgae One" in two hours after the occurrence of the incident was a measure taken too belatedly, Kim made excuse by saying, “When a solider deserts the military in armed condition, the commander put in place an alert and defense measure equivalent to ‘Jindotgae One.’”

As lawmakers argued that Minister Kim should be held accountable, Kim said, “I feel a deep sense of responsibility because an incident that should never occur has happened,” bowing down his face.

Since the formation of the necessary members of the National Assembly has been delayed, the deadline (Tuesday) for confirmation hearing for Defense Minister nominee Han Min-koo expired. Hence, the government has decided to send a request to extend the period for Han’s confirmation hearing to the National Assembly anew. Upon receiving the request, the National Assembly can hold a confirmation hearing within 10 days.