S. Korean general convicted of embezzlement is formally ousted, replaced
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The South Korean government formally has ousted the former deputy commander of the Combined Forces Command and will install his deputy Thursday, officials said Tuesday.
The announcement came one day after a military court convicted Gen. Shin Il-soon, the outgoing deputy chief of the combined U.S.-South Korea warfighting command, of embezzling thousands of dollars in South Korean military funds.
According to a Ministry of National Defense spokesman, the South Korean Cabinet Council selected Lt. Gen Kim Jang-soo as Shin’s replacement during a Tuesday council meeting. The MND called Kim a “reform-minded” officer of “integrity and experience.”
Kim is to be promoted to four-star when he assumes the CFC deputy commander position. He most recently served as the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff’s chief operations director, officials said.
On Tuesday, a South Korean military court convicted Shin on the embezzlement charges, levying fines of more than $100,000. The court did not sentence Shin to jail time; military prosecutors had asked for a five-year sentence.
Under military law, Shin could be forced to resign his commission only if sentenced to suspended jail time or above. Instead, he was removed from his command but will keep his rank, officials said.
An MND official said Tuesday that Shin likely would retire almost immediately. During the trial, prosecutors said he took military funds and used them for personal gain; Shin reportedly said he used the funds for unit activities.
Before serving at CFC, Shin worked at the Republic of Korea Army Headquarters, where prosecutors said the embezzlement occurred. Shin’s arrest — the first time a South Korean four-star was arrested on corruption charges since the military’s founding — led to a number of other investigations against high-ranking military officials.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for President Roh Moo-hyun said the annual military promotions and shuffling of general officer assignments also would be completed Thursday, when Kim assumes his new post. The appointments had been held up because of the investigations, officials said.