South Korea to Remove 2 Commanders after Marine Shooting Spree

Posted July 10th, 2011 at 1:10 am (UTC-5)
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South Korea's military said Sunday that the Marine Corps will relieve two officers of duty for failing to prevent a shooting rampage by a marine last week.

A marine official said a colonel and a lieutenant colonel at the Ganghwa Island base will be removed from their positions in the next few days and may face further punishment when the investigation into the July 4 shootings ends. The official said there are no plans to discharge them.

A 19-year-old corporal, identified only as Kim, went on a shooting spree at an elite Marine Corps unit near the tense sea border with North Korea, killing four colleagues and wounding another.

The military last week arrested a private for allegedly helping Kim steal ammunition from a weapons storage room before the corporal opened fire at a barracks.

Military psychological tests conducted last year found Kim was mentally unstable. He had also been drinking before the shooting.

Claims of abuse among Marines surfaced following the shooting.