SEOUL — The South Korean woman found guilty of arson in connection with a March fire on Yongsan Garrison is appealing her conviction, according to her new court-appointed lawyer.

Kweon Jung-ja is due in Seoul High Court, South Korea’s appellate court, on Aug. 17 to argue she set the March 16 fire out of self-defense, according to Park Byeong-kweon, her lawyer. Kweon says she set the early morning fire to defend herself against a threat of terror, Park said Wednesday.

Kweon was sentenced in June to two years in prison, though she was ordered to undergo treatment for mental illness first. The Korean judicial system acknowledged she had some mental illness, though the court found her competent to stand trial.

In May, Kweon testified she set the fire because she couldn’t obtain a U.S. visa to visit her family. She said she had spent years protesting America and South Korea for refusing to help her reunite with her sons.

In the early morning hours of March 16, she found an open gate to the Korean Service Corps compound, a U.S. military base adjacent to Yongsan’s Main Post, she told police last spring. She used a lighter and worker’s gloves to start the fire, she told police.

The fire swept through one service corps building and two Directorate of Public Works buildings on Yongsan. Three service corps workers who were sleeping in their building after a night out were burned.

One victim, Lee Byeok-woo, suffered burns on 60 percent of his body and remains hospitalized, according to Korean Service Corps union president Lee Hak-dae. A second victim is home but unable to return to work. The third man has resumed his job, the union president said.

On Tuesday, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesman said no action is planned against any of the service corps workers involved in the incident that night. One service corps manager, Lee Geun-sang, told police he left the gate open after returning from a union dinner on the evening of March 15. He said he thought other workers were trailing behind him.

“No KSCs were charged, and no disciplinary action has been taken,” according to a statement from USFK spokesman David Oten. “The actions of the arsonist have been judged by a Korean court. We will have no further statement on this issue.”

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