ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 11th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Drowning Death of Dongducheon Policeman Being Reinvestigated

Something fishy going on with police department in Dongducheon:

Police said Tuesday they will reinvestigate the death of a young conscripted policeman who they had announced was killed in a rescue operation during last summer’s massive floods, following allegations that the story was fabricated.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency said the reinvestigation was launched earlier in the day over the death of 21-year-old officer Cho Min-soo, whose body was recovered in late July after he was swept away in flood waters in Dongducheon, north of Seoul.

The reexamination followed the local daily Chosun Ilbo’s report over a fellow policeman’s recounting of Cho’s death, suggesting the police agency fabricated the death in order to cover up their poor disaster-control decisions. He said the officer was trying to escape from a makeshift police lodging hit by torrents of rain.

The government had posthumously awarded Cho a medal in recognition of his rescue efforts after the police announced that he was killed while trying to rescue a flood-stricken civilian, though he was soon to be discharged from his two-year mandatory service at the agency. He was buried at the national cemetery in Daejeon.  As they relaunched the probe following the one conducted just after his death, the provincial police agency vowed to respond with stern punishment if the story is found to be a fabrication.

National Police Agency Commissioner General Cho Hyun-oh also called on the provincial agency to look into the allegation thoroughly.

However, Park Sang-yoong, who was the head of Dongducheon Police Agency at the time of the death, denied the allegations, claiming the news report is groundless.  [Yonhap]

Here is the initial report from the Korea Herald about what happened this past summer:

A conscripted policeman was found dead in Dongducheon, north of Seoul, early Thursday after being swept away in flash floods while trying to rescue a drowning civilian.

Jo Min-su, 21, was lost in the rapids at around 9:35 p.m. Wednesday while trying to save a man hanging onto a fence of a U.S. army base in the swelled waters of Shincheon Stream.

His body was found about 5 hours later, some 100 meters downstream from the spot where he went missing.

The stranded man was rescued by Jo’s colleagues and U.S. forces.  [Korea Herald]

It seems like it would be pretty easy to get to the bottom of this by interviewing the stranded man and the US forces involved with the rescue.  Any ROK Heads from Dongducheon heard anything in regards to what happened with this case?

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  • Bill Beatty
    7:54 pm on January 11th, 2012 1

    This is the first, I’ve heard of a reinvestigation.

  • Marcus
    6:16 am on January 12th, 2012 2

    I was there myself on that night–and a whole bunch of us got stranded on Camp Casey that night when we couldn’t get across the swollen stream infamously known as “Shit Creek.” It was literally flowing over the bridges where we were at. But no, I heard nothing about this story at the time. I know that there were U.S. flood-control teams from different units deployed all over Casey and Hovey, but I had not heard of any of them assisting the Korean police to rescue any civilians.

    Unless the civilian rescue occurred on post, I would say the story is dubious. The flood-control teams had areas of responsibility on the U.S. installations.


  • Drew
    7:53 am on January 13th, 2012 3

    I heard the person rescued came forward and admitted it was a US service member that rescued him. The policeman was told to stay at his post by his officer and then basically left there at his tiny hut, about the size of a phone booth. This is a little bit rumorish, but it came from a high ranking gentleman here on Casey.


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