Killer Sorry for Families of 'Innocent Victims'

      June 24, 2005 22:45

      A private who killed eight fellow soldiers at a guard post in the DMZ on Sunday wants to apologize to the families of those among his victims he appears to consider innocent. "I wish to meet and apologize to the bereaved families of soldiers who were killed in the incident although they did not harass me,” lawmakers quoted Private First Class Kim Dong-min as saying.

      Kim made the remarks in a closed-door interview with a panel from the National Assembly’s Defense Committee, its chief Uri Party Rep. Ahn Young-gun said.

      Ahn quoted Kim as having said: "I feel sorry for the bereaved families, remembering my parents and my elder sister." But Kim said he still “felt hatred” toward those of his victims whose bullying he says goaded him into committing the crime, according to Ahn.

      "Kim is thought to have run amok because his introverted nature was compounded by orders and verbal abuse from senior comrades,” Ahn said. “That sort of verbal abuses can happen in military and social life. Kim appears to have committed the crime because he was unable to cope."

      But another member of the inquiry panel, Uri Party lawmaker Lim Jong-in, said Kim “thinks the constant hard time he was given by senior soldiers goaded him into running amok, rather than any inherent flaw." Kim reportedly said he suffered no physical violence from seniors before being transferred to the guard post.

      After questioning Kim, the panel interviewed survivors and inspected the guard post where the killing took place.

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