South Korean four-star under investigation
May 7, 2004
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A four-star South Korean general is under investigation for allegedly misappropriating unit funds, the Defense Ministry confirmed this week.
Col. Kim Jong-chan, chief of public affairs for the Defense Ministry, said on Wednesday that an investigation was ongoing, but identified the subject of the probe only as a general. Kim said there are about eight four-star South Korean generals. One of them, Gen. Shin Il-soon, is deputy commander of the Combined Forces Command under U.S. Gen. Leon LaPorte.
In a Sunday report, the national television network MBC identified Shin as the general under investigation, quoting sources.
The report was later picked up by a newspaper, Chosun Ilbo.
Defense ministry military prosecutors are conducting the investigation, Kim said. He could not confirm the amount of money involved in the investigation, when the investigation began or when it might conclude.
U.S. Forces Korea released a brief statement and forwarded all other queries to the defense ministry on Wednesday.
“This type of matter, whether confirmed or speculative, would fall beyond the scope of our commands,” said spokeswoman Air Force Lt. Col. Deborah Bertrand. “We have no information regarding this specific matter.”
The Joonang Ilbo newspaper quoted defense ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Nam Dae-yeon as saying an unnamed four-star general has been under investigation since April for embezzling between $8,500 to $17,000.
The acts allegedly occurred when the officer was a lieutenant general, the newspaper reported.
Efforts to reach Nam were unsuccessful Wednesday, a South Korean national holiday.