South Korean army commander discharged for hosting drinking party

September 2, 2014

By Jun Ji-hye

Gen. Shin Hyeon-don

Gen. Shin Hyeon-don

SEOUL — The Ministry of National Defense has discharged Gen. Shin Hyeon-don, commander of the First ROK Army, for hosting a drinking party in June in violation of an order to heighten readiness.

“Shin submitted an application for a discharge, and the government accepted it,” said the ministry in a press release Tuesday.

Shin had been the subject of an internal investigation centering on accusations that he drank alcohol heavily on June 19, after delivering a lecture on national security at the high school he had graduated from.

The investigation concluded that Shin’s conduct was inappropriate for a general.

“His visit to the high school was also regarded as unbecoming his position as commander because the military was directed to heighten its level of readiness during that month,” said an official from the ministry.

The order was issued because President Park Geun-hye visited three Central Asian countries in June.

“After drinking with his high school friends, Shin was seen in public in the bathroom of a highway rest stop in Ochang, North Chungcheong Province, where he unbuttoned [the jacket of] his military uniform. A member of his entourage even tussled with a civilian there,” said the official.

Deputy Commander Gen. Jang Joon-gyu will be taking over Shin’s duties until a new commander is appointed, the official added.