Another mysterious gunshot death in inter-Korean border county
By Kang Ji-Hyun
A Korean soldier stationed in the inter-Korean border county of Cheorwon, in Gangwon Province, died of a mysterious gunshot to his head on Tuesday, the latest in a series of fatal incidents there.
The victim, 22, whose name was not released, was returning to his platoon with about 20 soldiers and their commander after working when the bullet hit him. Who fired the bullet and where it came from are unknown.
The incident occurred about 4:10 p.m. The soldier was taken to hospital but died at 5:20 p.m.
The bullet most likely came from a military shooting range within 400 meters of the incident site, media reports said.
But a netizen who claimed to be a family member of the victim said the commander was responsible for the death. The family member, who was with the victim’s body at the Armed Forces Medical Command in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, said the platoon commander led the solders “right across the shooting range while shooting practice was in progress.”
“This platoon commander is nonsensical,” the person said. “He could have led all 28 soldiers right to their deaths. This incompetent platoon commander took the soldiers, who are as young as his own children, across the shooting range.”
In March 2013, a member of an army platoon on duty at a border post in Gyeonggi Province was found dead. The victim, surnamed Kim, 21, had told another soldier that he needed to go to the washroom. The other soldier later heard a gunshot and found Kim dead.
In April 2010, a soldier from a platoon in the county was found dead by two other soldiers. The victim, who was watching from an outpost, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Military authorities found that the bullet was fired from the victim’s rifle and concluded he took his own life. But bereaved family members said their son was murdered.