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South Korea defence chief apologises for army shooter remarks

Published on Jun 27, 2014 11:55 AM
A mourner comforts a relative of a dead soldier on June 23, 2014 after paying her tribute at the group memorial altar of the five soldiers who were killed by a conscript soldier, identified as Sergeant Lim. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea's defence minister apologised on Friday to the relatives of victims of a shooting rampage by an army conscript for suggesting that those killed had been bullying the gunman.

The shooting took place last Saturday when a 22-year-old sergeant, surnamed Lim, opened fire on members of his own unit at a guard post near the tense border with North Korea, killing five and wounding seven.

Lim was captured alive on Monday after a 24-hour standoff with thousands of troops ended when he shot himself in the chest.

Minister Kim Kwan Jin had infuriated the families of Lim's victims when he suggested, in a recent meeting with lawmakers, that bullying had been a factor behind the shooting spree.

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