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Defense chief vows to stamp out military's political interference, sexual abuse

All News 15:38 July 04, 2018

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- Defense Minister Song Young-moo pledged Wednesday to eradicate the military's political interference and sexual violence following a series of unsavory incidents that have sapped public confidence and troop morale.

Operatives from the cyber warfare command and the Defense Security Command (DSC) have been accused of having posted online comments in favor of former conservative governments in breach of their duty to maintain political neutrality.

This week, the military also came under fire after a senior Navy officer was put under emergency arrest for allegedly attempting to sexually assault his female subordinate while under the influence of alcohol.

"Recently, things that should never have happened in the military have occurred. These incidents have resulted in a tremendous loss of citizens' confidence in the military," the minister said in his opening remarks at an emergency meeting of top ministry and military officials on discipline.

"I, as the minister, will take measures to ensure that the illegal political interference by the DSC and cyber command will be the last in the history of our armed services. Also, through the efforts, I will try to make organizational, institutional and legal improvements," he added.

The meeting that Song called to check on "lax discipline" comes amid concerns that the emerging mood for peace with North Korea and the recent suspension of a major South Korea-U.S. military exercise could weaken the allies' military readiness.

Defense Minister Song Yong-moo (2nd from R) speaks during a meeting of top ministry and military officials at the ministry's building in Seoul on July 4, 2018, in this photo provided by his office. (Yonhap)


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