It was revealed that the bereaved family of Corporal안전놀이터 Chae, who died in the line of duty during a search operation for missing people due to floods, had dinner with Marine Corps Commander Kim Gye-hwan and others on the 5th.
Also present were Lim Seong-geun, commander of the 1st Marine Division, and his brigade commander, who have been controversial over the application of the charge of manslaughter due to occupational negligence.
According to the Marine Corps on the 6th, a meal was held at Haeryongsa Temple, a temple within the 1st Marine Division, ahead of Corporal Chae’s 49th funeral. The deceased’s bereaved family visited the 1st Division the day before.
A Marine Corps official said, “The bereaved family wished to keep the conversation at the meal confidential.”
However, given that acquaintances of Corporal Chae’s bereaved family held a memorial rally in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do, the deceased’s hometown, on the 6th and demanded ‘an investigation without sanctuary and punishment of those responsible,’ it appears that a similar conversation took place.
There are mixed opinions regarding Commander Kim’s decision to have Division Commander Lim, who is not yet free from the controversy over responsibility for the accident, present.
Although there is a positive aspect of actively trying to explain the situation to the bereaved families and seek their understanding, suspicions are also being raised that the fact that Division Commander Lim was excluded from the charges as a result of the Ministry of Defense review is an established fact.
In relation to this, Jeong Jong-beom, Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps, is said to have received instructions from Commander Kim and provided mental education to key officials of the Marine Corps Investigation Team that day.
The Marine Corps Investigation Team is where Colonel Park Jeong-hoon, who was booked on charges of mutiny, served as the head of the investigation team, and there is a strong atmosphere of warmth toward former director Park.
According to military sources, Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-seop is known to have recently decided on a policy of confronting the issue head-on despite public backlash in relation to the protests and the Hong Beom-do bust. There are observations that the mental education of the Marine Corps investigation team is also related to this.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps decided to erect a bust commemorating the deceased in a pine forest within the 1st Marine Division.