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South Korean military chief accused of outing soldiers

The chief of South Korea’s army is facing calls for his resignation after allegedly launching a probe to ‘out’ gay soldiers.

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Homosexuality is not illegal in South Korea, but it is frowned upon in the nation’s largely conservative society.

However the country’s military code of conduct describes same sex activity between personnel as “reciprocal rape” which is punishable by one year’s imprisonment.

The rule is currently going through a drawn out court process to challenge it’s validity. All Korean adults must complete two years compulsory military service.

A Human Rights group in the country has accused the Chief of the Army of launching a probe to track down gay soldiers.

According to campaign group the Military Human Rights Center for Korea (MHRCK), General Jang Jun-kyu, the army chief of staff, has launched a “track-down process” to locate and expose suspected gay personnel.

It is alleged that up to 50 soldiers have been outed after being lured in by fake profiles on popular gay dating apps. It has been reported that 20 personnel are now facing serious charges.

“Gen Jang is obviously incapable of leading the army,” MHRCK said in a statement.

“He treated his men who did their best to protect their homeland as if they were culprits and made them suffer the most horrible fear — losing personal dignity.

“He must take responsibility and resign immediately.”

Activist say the soldiers who have been outed by the authorities have faced a high level of anxiety and mental stress.

“Many victims of this illegitimate criminal investigations suffer from anxiety disorder caused by continuous pressure from investigators and fear of being outed.”

The army has confirmed that it conducts investigations in to personnel who they believe may be gay, but said their investigations were focused on relationships between serving personnel.

OIP Staff

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