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11/14/06 Editor’s Note: The original headline on this story incorrectly stated the U.S. soldier in question was from Camp Humphreys.

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — South Korean authorities have told the U.S. military they want to question a U.S. soldier who they believe struck a South Korean woman in the head with a bottle last weekend, police in Gwangju said Tuesday.

U.S. Forces Korea said Tuesday it is ready to cooperate with local authorities and make the soldier available for questioning as required.

The woman may require plastic surgery for head injuries, police said. She was treated at a local hospital, then released, and currently is making daily follow-up hospital visits, they said.

The soldier has not been charged with a crime.

“We take the allegations seriously and are cooperating fully with Korean authorities … ” Army Maj. Brodrick J. Bailey, a USFK spokesman in Seoul, said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

Bailey said in a subsequent telephone interview that “the chain of command will take whatever steps to make sure that the rights of the soldier are respected, as well as respecting the justice system here in Korea.”

No date has been set for questioning the soldier, authorities said.

Police said the soldier is a member of the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, part of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

The brigade is a Patriot missile unit headquartered at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek. The battalion has been stationed in Gwangju since 2004 but is in the final stages of relocating to Camp Carroll in Waegwan.

According to police, the woman was hit in the head around 4 a.m. Sunday after she objected to sexually provocative statements allegedly made to her by the soldier, with whom she’d been drinking.

Police said they identified the suspect through cell phone records.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.


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