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South Korea captures soldier accused of killing 5 comrades in rampage



SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The South Korean army captured a soldier Monday who it says killed five comrades then fled into the forest where he holed up with a rifle for two days before shooting himself as pursuers closed in.

The massive manhunt ended when the 22-year-old sergeant, surnamed Yim, shot himself in the upper left chest as his father and brother approached, pleading with him to surrender, a Defense Ministry official said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of department rules, said Yim was taken to a hospital but his life wasn't in danger. He didn't elaborate.

South Korean Soldier Accused Of Killing 5 Captured

Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said the soldier would be handed to military investigators later. Soldiers retrieved Yim's rifle and ammunition at the site.

South Koreans have worried about public safety in the wake of an April ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing. And some in Seoul have questioned the discipline and readiness of South Korea's military in the face of near-constant threats from North Korea, which has recently staged missile and artillery drills, traded fire with the South at sea and threatened South Korea's leader.

Troops had been chasing Yim since authorities said he killed five fellow soldiers and wounded seven Saturday night. He then fled his frontline unit with his standard-issue K2 assault rifle.

He fired Sunday on the soldiers chasing him, injuring a platoon leader. On Monday, officials said a South Korean soldier was wounded by suspected friendly fire.

Earlier Monday, troops surrounding Yim in the forest tossed him a mobile phone so he could talk to his father. They also threw him bread and bottled water. His parents went to the area to try to persuade him to surrender.

It wasn't clear what triggered the rampage; there was no indication that South Korea's bitter rival, North Korea, was involved.

Yim was scheduled to complete his nearly two years of mandatory military service in September, according to defense officials.

Initial personality tests in April of last year put Yim within a group of soldiers who need special attention and are unfit for frontline duty, according to the Defense Ministry. But tests last November concluded he had improved and could serve in the frontline area, defense officials said.

Hundreds of thousands of troops from the rival Koreas square off along the world's most heavily armed border. The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Shooting rampages against fellow soldiers happen occasionally. South Korea's military maintains a conscription system requiring all able-bodied men to serve about two years because of the North Korean threat.

In 2011, a 19-year-old marine corporal went on a shooting rampage at a Gwanghwa Island base, just south of the maritime boundary with North Korea. Military investigators later said that corporal was angry about being shunned and slighted and showed signs of mental illness.

In 2005, a soldier tossed a grenade and opened fire at a front-line army unit in a rampage that killed eight colleagues and injured several others. Pfc. Kim Dong-min told investigators he was enraged at superiors who verbally abused him.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
peaceman303 June 23 2014 at 7:05 AM

WHO CARES ABOUT when SGT. ANDREW TAHMOORESSI, U.S. MARINE HELD IN MEXICO PRISON: 80+ DAYS, for a wrong turn...---FREE HIM OBUMA--

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20 replies
stengernc June 23 2014 at 6:03 AM

It is estimated that about 20% of all humanity suffers from some type of mental disorder so it is not surprising when something like this happens. We see it in the USA, we see nut cases on Fox News, both political parties but especially the republicans and in religious groups. Part of life, an unfortunate part.

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25 replies
jbdavidson June 23 2014 at 7:06 AM

So this guy shoots and kills five soldiers and yet he can't kill himself at point blank range ? The one shot he needs to hit and he misses !

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1 reply
harleyman jbdavidson June 23 2014 at 7:23 AM

HE 4 GOT 2 WEAR HIS GLASSES !!!!!!

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1 reply
ngbiker1 harleyman June 23 2014 at 3:16 PM

please explain your comment.

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gedking June 23 2014 at 6:05 AM

Thats what this country needs a draft, except One year and nobody gets left out, when they grauduate from high school or if they quit school. it works in switzerland. when they go home they take their Arms with them.

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6 replies
BRUCE June 23 2014 at 6:58 AM

"Initial personality tests in April of last year put Yim within a group of soldiers who need special attention and are unfit for frontline duty"

Special attention, unfit for frontline duty....but he's okay to have a K2 assault rifle. Seee...they do too learn from our example after all.

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3 replies
threelinedsalamanders June 23 2014 at 6:30 AM

The difference between South Korea just like USA is that they are open about what happens there unlike N. Korea , China , Russia and so many other places .

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1 reply
gonro2 threelinedsalamanders June 23 2014 at 8:54 AM

N Korea doesn't hide too much they love rubbing it in Obabma's nose knowing he won't do anything....even Poland has said their alliance with the USA is worthless

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2 replies
masteromodels gonro2 June 23 2014 at 11:01 AM

And your answer is what ? WAR .You need to see a head doctor, you know the ones that listen to you then declare you insane. I bet you liked the Bush Administration. Tell us what good they did for the world ?

Flag +4 rate up
andrejgasp gonro2 June 23 2014 at 11:03 AM

Hi gonro2, Poland is talking to you? What esle did Poland say. Is she a local girl? Do you see shadows 2? ..... and also, is there a gonro#1 as well, who is he talking to? Lalaland?

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ltjaysantos June 23 2014 at 6:40 AM

Some people join the military and find that they can't handle it, simple as that. It happens here and it happens everywhere else.

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1 reply
goodgrief61945 ltjaysantos June 23 2014 at 11:51 AM

They can handle it. They just don't want to.

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2 replies
ltjaysantos goodgrief61945 June 23 2014 at 12:59 PM

This guy had problems from the get go, it was already known. When I went through boot camp in the early 80s , there were guys who just didn't have what it takes. Sorry, but some don't belong in the service. Your mommy ain't there to wipe the snot off your nose and hold your hand. These days, I see a hell of a lot more of that type.

Flag +2 rate up
tvndstr22 goodgrief61945 June 23 2014 at 10:50 PM

Thanks, was just about to say " what about those boy's at the beaches " They sure handled it. Here's the thing, all and I mean all the good stock goes first then the depleted gene pool gets to reproduce, weakening the human race. Hell Ive seen this develope over the past 45 years

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BOB June 23 2014 at 6:31 AM

This just goes to prove Psychology doesn't work and shows flaws in diagnosis . Predisposition in personality doesn't change in a person , psychology just helps to subdue it ( for a time frame ) . Recognizing when a person is going to " snap " depends on too many factors . A few years ago my best friend asked me a question " Do you think special forces made us , or do you think we made special forces ? " ... My reply was : We had to have what they were looking for already . They just honed our rough edges .... There really is something to the saying " its in the blood " . It should be more of its in the DNA . Maybe one day the medical field will find the proof to support that thought . As for this South Korean ( Yim ) , I just wonder why he wasn't kept in a support roll and never moved to front line .

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2 replies
pjgblg BOB June 23 2014 at 6:50 AM

ROFLMAO

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jj BOB June 23 2014 at 12:07 PM

Specialist Ivan Lopez opened fire and shot 3 people and injured 16 at Ft Hood military base he was being evaluated for anxiety and depression as well as PTSD, but you know the Army medical group and VA make you wait for months before you are seen.

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marianicole62 June 23 2014 at 9:38 AM

Oh just shut up "stengernc" - First of all, you are obviously unintelligent to bring American politics into this issue. Secondy, look at the mess YOUR President has made, with the IRS scandal, which yes he plays a big part in, forced healthcare, Fast and Furious, Bengazi, and now with the premature withdrawal of troops, which is sending Iraq, a country that WE lost soldiers over into civil war! Thirdly, I am an Independent and am affiliated with neither party, so don't favor either one, but you have a lot of nerve saying that Republicans are "nut cases" when YOUR own President has created this chaos not only in our own country, but in others!!!

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3 replies
pjgblg June 23 2014 at 6:45 AM

First it's American fast food, now mass shootings. Hmmmm, maybe that's the connection.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
garabian pjgblg June 23 2014 at 9:28 AM

The real connection is S Korean imports, like clothes, shirts, jeans, etc. Fast food for Clothes $$$. Good trade?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
fjpanzerjr2002 pjgblg June 23 2014 at 10:21 PM

I feel that these mass shootings are a copycat thing, or just plain stupidy,maybe be famious for the one time shooting,But really it's putting pain on other people for some kind of revenge, but it all comes down to maybe he was mistreated as a child (great defence)

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