Defense ministry keeps lid on army shooter’s note

AFP, SEOUL

Fri, Jun 27, 2014 - Page 6

The South Korean military yesterday refused to release the suicide note of a soldier who is suspected in the shooting deaths of five comrades, as speculation mounted that the incident was triggered by bullying in his barracks.

The 22-year-old sergeant, surnamed Lim, was captured alive on Monday after a 24-hour standoff with thousands of troops ended when he reportedly shot himself.

He is suspected of opening fire on members of his unit at a guardpost near the tense border with North Korea two days before. Five and seven were wounded.

Before his reported suicide attempt, the cornered Lim is said to have written a note which the South Korea Ministry of National Defense said it was withholding at the request of the families of the soldiers who were killed.

“They said it would be good to disclose it fully after our investigation verifies all the related facts,” a ministry spokesman said.

Media reports say the note detailed how bullying drove him to despair.