Friday, February 06, 2015

Blog #1: South Korean soldier sentenced after killing five fellow soldiers

The article presents a clear picture regarding the events that occurred in June of 2014 when a South Korean soldier opened fire on his fellow counterparts while on duty near the North Korean border, killing five and injuring seven before shooting himself. This reignited the debate on South Korean military culture, which requires all males to serve in the military for about two years. The military court has finally come to a decision and has sentenced “Im” to death. At first I thought, how could anyone kill people that they would seemingly be so close to? Yet, as the article carries on, the answer to that question becomes much more obvious. The case was the latest of many to shed light on the obstacles South Korea faces in handling such a large military as the country continues its ongoing war with the neighboring North Korea. During their two years of service, many soldiers fall victim to bullying and a slew of mental health problems. Last year a private was killed after being beaten to death, two Special Forces soldiers died after collapsing during training and several solder suicides have been reported. This got me wondering if maybe the soldier’s actions, although rather extreme, were not his fault alone. With the recently spotlight on South Korea’s military, it seems they are going to have to crack down on the conscription system to ensure men selected are physically AND mentally fit to take part in such pressure circumstances and look further into not only those bullied but those doing the bullying as well.

Bethany Shaffer
12:12 a.m.

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