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Former South Korean defense minister arrested

Former South Korean defense minister arrested 5

Former South Korean defense minister arrested

The Seoul Central District Court on October 22 announced that it had approved an emergency arrest warrant for former Korean defense minister Suh Wook and former coast guard commander Kim Hong-hee.

The emergency arrest warrant was approved on the grounds that the two suspects were likely to destroy evidence and flee, following an investigation by prosecutors into a shooting incident at the maritime boundary between South Korea and North Korea in 2019.

Mr. Lee went missing on September 21, 2020 while on duty near Yeonpyeong Island at the maritime boundary between the two countries.

The Seoul Supreme Prosecutors’ Office investigated Suh Wook and Kim Hong-hee on charges of abuse of power and falsification of records related to the shooting.

The case was accelerated by the prosecution after President Yoon Suk-yeol took office.

Former Korean defense minister Suh Wook appeared at the Seoul Central District Court on October 21.

Former president Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party criticized the investigation, saying it was a politically motivated action.

The Korean Board of Audit and Inspection, under the Office of the President, last week transferred to the prosecutor’s office a list of 20 people who need to be investigated related to the case, including Suh and Kim.

After all parties confirmed that North Korean border guards opened fire, killing Lee Dae-jun, Moon Jae-in administration officials made the assertion that Lee sought to defect to North Korea because of debts from gambling and conflicts.

However, President Yoon Suk-yeol’s Office accused the previous administration of suppressing some evidence that Lee Dae-jun had no reasonable motive to defect.

The prosecution said that former defense minister Suh Wook was instructed to destroy 60 military intelligence reports related to the shooting, and also delayed issuing a statement about Lee Dae-jun’s death.

Representatives for Suh Wook and Kim Hong-hee have not commented on the allegations.

In June, a few weeks after Mr. Yoon Suk-yeol took office, the Ministry of National Defense and the Korean Coast Guard reopened the Lee Dae-jun case file.

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