Man seized in killing of South Korean marine
SEOUL — South Korean police on Wednesday nabbed a man accused of killing one South Korean marine and injuring another during a Dec. 6 attack in which he allegedly stole a weapon, a grenade and ammunition.
Less than a week after the launch of a nationwide manhunt, the 35-year-old man was captured in Seoul, a South Korean policewoman said by phone late Wednesday afternoon. The man was identified only by his surname “Cho,” according to the Yonhap News.
South Korean police sources said the suspect, a former soldier, was near a movie theater in downtown Seoul, after a minor scuffle with detectives.
Police recovered the stolen arms earlier Wednesday after following directions in a letter allegedly from the suspect.
Spokesmen from the Ministry of National Defense and from the Ganghwa police department said they recovered the weapons near a highway rest stop using information in a letter discovered by a postal worker in Busan early Wednesday. The letter, which was addressed to police, had no postage, a police spokesman said.
Yonhap News reported the weapon and ammunition were discovered under a bridge near a highway in Jangseong, about 190 miles southwest of Seoul.
The police spokesman told Stars and Stripes that the man accused of driving a vehicle into two marines — then stabbing them both, seriously injuring one and killing another — appears to have written the letter, which indicated he would turn himself in to police when he was ready.
The spokesman said the man gave no motive for stealing the weapons but wrote that he hadn’t intended to kill anyone.
The two-page, barely coherent document quickly was posted on South Korean Internet news sites Wednesday, though the police spokesman said he didn’t know how it was leaked. He said the letter had been sent with the weapons to a lab to be analyzed.
The suspect will be handed over to the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency.
The Ministry of National Defense said the marine who survived the attack, Sgt. Lee Jae-hyuck, remains hospitalized and his recovery has been slow.
Ministry officials have said the most recent attack is the fifth theft or attempted theft of weapons from the South Korean military since June 2005. Most Koreans are banned from owning firearms.
The Associated Press and Stars and Stripes reporter Jimmy Norris contributed to this report.