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S. Korea defence chief apologises for bullied conscript death

Published on Aug 4, 2014 6:41 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-Koo apologised Monday following the death of a bullied young army conscript, while the presidential Blue House urged a full inquiry.

"I extend my sincere apologies," Mr Han said in a televised statement, describing the death of the 23-year-old private as "an inhumane crime" that should not happen in a civilised society in the 21st century.

He vowed to punish anyone involved in the death and said an army division commander would be dismissed from his post and disciplined, together with other officers under his command.

Private Yoon died in April following an alleged assault by five soldiers, during which he was struck in the chest, causing a chunk of food to get lodged in his airway. He died of asphyxiation.

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