August 4, 2014

Private Yoon - bullied to death in the South Korean Army

A South Korean soldier named Private Yoon, age 23, died in April of 2014, in Yeoncheon, South Korea.

His first name has not been stated in the western media as of this posting. Nor has his exact date of death.

South Korean soldiers
He was part of the South Korean Army's 28th Division, based at Yeoncheon which is just south of the heavily fortified border with North Korea.

Private Yoon was bullied to death by his military comrades.

The South Korean Minister of Defence, Han Min-Koo, has apologized for the death of the young man. He vowed that everyone involved would be punished.

Private Yoon was repeatedly abused and assaulted. The facts of the abuse are sketchy and conflicting. However, it has been reported that:

He was crudely water-boarded. Water boarding is a form of torture in which a person
This is waterboarding
is tied down, a cloth is put over your nose and mouth, and water is poured on you until you feel like you are drowning.

He had been forced to eat a tube of toothpaste.

He had been forced to lick the spit of other soldiers off of the ground in the middle of the night.

The day before his death, fellow soldiers applied a burning ointment to his genitals. He also had bruises on his genitals from prior assaults.

He had bruises all over his body.

The incident which caused the death of Private Yoon involved six South Korean soldiers. Private Yoon was struck in the chest while he was eating which caused a chunk of food to get stuck in his throat. He choked to death.

South Korea has mandatory military service for all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 35.  These conscripts, most of them in their early twenties, make up most of the military's 690,000 active personnel.

Bullying has long tainted South Korea's military service. The excuse for this abuse is that it instills discipline. Experts state that these young inexperienced soldiers are often greatly disturbed at finding themselves facing harsh military discipline.

Military discipline does NOT include attempts to drown your own men; eating tubes of toothpaste; licking up spit; burning or beating your genitals; and striking someone in the chest, causing them to choke to death.

Five of the six soldiers involved, including two sergeants and a staff sergeant, have been charged with manslaughter. The sixth soldier is a private first class who is charged with assault. 

Pray for Private
The five charged with manslaughter should be charged with murder.

The South Korean military better revisit the issue of "instilling discipline" and start acting like human beings who live in the 21st century.

Who needs enemies in battle when your own people will kill you?

Private Yoon's loved ones are devastated over his sudden and tragic death. He was just starting out in life. He will be forever mourned.

Thank you for your service to South Korea, Private Yoon.

God save us from those who are supposed to back us up, but who kill us instead.

Pray that Private Yoon is in heaven. Pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought that being in the army was akin to being with family. Every soldier is your brother, someone whom you trust your life with and someone you believe is worth dying for in battle. We expect to be treated badly by enemies during war and not expect mercy from them, but to be killed by fellow comrades in peacetime- few things disgust and horrify me more.People in charge have apologized to the public- I hope that the SK government personally apologized to Private Yoon's family. They will never get to see him, hold him nor meet what could have been their grandkids by him. Are apologies enough for the victims? I hope that justice will be served and changes made to the system.