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South Korean soldier found dead in DMZ

The soldier had enlisted in September and joined his unit in October.

By
Elizabeth Shim
South Korean soldiers in training. A South Korean soldier stationed at the Korean demilitarized zone was found dead early Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Republic of Korea Marine Corps
South Korean soldiers in training. A South Korean soldier stationed at the Korean demilitarized zone was found dead early Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Republic of Korea Marine Corps

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A South Korean soldier stationed at the Korean demilitarized zone was found dead early Wednesday.

The soldier, identified by his surname Jeong, was taking part in an ambush training operation, in the Central and Eastern Fronts of the DMZ, Yonhap reported.

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The 21-year-old soldier was found dead near Hwacheon, Gangwon Province, according to Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A soldier who found him said, "Pvt. Jeong was lying on the floor when I went to see after hearing a gunshot."

Seoul said an investigation is underway and that there are no signs North Korea's military could have been involved.

Jeong enlisted in September and joined his unit in October. Colleagues said he did not exhibit any symptoms of maladjustment.

South Korean men must serve complete mandatory military service that lasts for about two years. The Conscription Law applies to all men between the ages of 18 and 35.

The conscription system often has been at the center of controversy, and exemptions are rare.

In May, a South Korean reserve soldier with mental health issues killed two soldiers and injured three others before killing himself.

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The shooter, a 23-year-old only identified by his surname Choe, opened fire on himself after his deadly rampage with a K-2 rifle.

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