March 23, 2022 13:06
A Korean marine on furlough has made an unauthorized dash to Poland with the aim of fighting in war-torn Ukraine against the Russian invasion.
The man told friends before departure that he wanted to "join the foreign legion" in Ukraine, but he was caught at the border with the help of Polish authorities before he could do any damage and will be sent home, military authorities here said Tuesday.
The soldier flew from Incheon to Warsaw on Monday. That means he technically went AWOL since he was not allowed to leave the country without authorization from a senior officer.
His family alerted authorities when he did not return to his barracks by Monday, the last day of his furlough.
"I can no longer stand by as a soldier in a situation where civilians continue to be killed," friends quoted him as saying.
"We found he had gone AWOL and took him into custody with the help of a concerned agency and the Korean Embassy in Poland," a marine officer added.
Earlier, Rhee Keun, a former Navy special warfare officer who attracted a following as a YouTuber sharing combat experience, also flew to Ukraine to help the fight against the Russian invasion. Travel to Ukraine is currently banned.
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