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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A U.S. soldier discovered the body Sunday of an 18-year-old South Korean high school student who sneaked onto a U.S. radio tower in central Seoul and jumped to his death that morning, according to South Korean police.

A noncommissioned officer discovered the body on the roof of the building beneath the 170-foot radio tower at Camp Morse during a routine shift change inspection, said Maj. Jerome Pionk, spokesman for the 8th U.S. Army.

A South Korean employee inside the building heard a thump shortly before the soldier found the man’s body, a spokesman with central Seoul’s Jungbu police station said Monday.

The student’s family said he was schizophrenic, according to the police spokesman. He did not know if the student left a suicide note.

U.S. officials said they didn’t know how the man got onto the camp, a gated facility on Namsan Mountain next to Seoul Tower.

“That is the million-dollar question,” said Gwendolyn Smalls, spokeswoman for the 1st Signal Brigade. “As far as I know, there has never been an incident of someone getting onto Camp Morse, because there is nothing there.”

Camp Morse is a two-acre installation with only a radio tower, used for receiving and retransmitting an American Forces Network signal, and a building underneath it used by soldiers on duty. The installation is surrounded by a fence topped with concertina wire but has no guard.

The site is operated by the 275th Signal Company, 41st Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade. Smalls declined to say how many soldiers are on duty there at a given time, but she said they have to call to get inside the installation.

She said additional locks and sensors will be placed inside the fence and around the entrance to the tower.


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