Thursday, April 13, 2017

ROK army chief accused of ordering probe to out gay personnel

Financial Times reports that: South Korea’s army chief is facing calls to resign amid claims he ordered a nationwide probe to root out and prosecute gay personnel.

According to campaign group the Military Human Rights Center for Korea, General Jang Jun-kyu, army chief of staff, launched a “track-down process” that pinpointed about 50 soldiers, 20 of whom now face charges under military anti-homosexuality laws. The vast majority of South Korean men must serve mandatory two-year stints in the country’s armed forces.

The army denied Gen Jang had ordered a probe but acknowledged that “we are punishing soldiers on service who have homosexual relations with soldiers”, noting that homosexual activity was considered “sexual harassment crime” under the country’s military criminal act.

The ROK Army, is the army of South Korea, responsible for ground-based warfare. It is the largest of the military branches of the South Korean armed forces with 495,000 members as of 2014. This size is maintained through conscription; South Korean men must complete 21 months of military service between the age of 18 and 35.

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