Update as of 4:10 a.m. EDT: A 22-year-old South Korean soldier, who killed five of his colleagues, shot and killed himself after being cornered by troops in a forested area in Goseong county on the country's east coast, Reuters reported Monday. The incident reportedly triggered a day-long face-off between the shooter and troops, according to the report, which added that the incident would raise questions about South Korea's policy of mandatory military service.
South Korean troops have reportedly surrounded a soldier who shot and killed five of his comrades at his military base and then fled with ammunition and grenades Saturday.
The soldier, a sergeant surnamed Yim, engaged Republic of Korea Army pursuers with both rifle fire and a grenade, prompting them to return fire. A platoon leader was wounded in the grenade attack, the Associated Press reported.
Yim "threw a grenade and then opened fire," on his comrades Saturday after finishing patrol. He is reported surrounded in a forest about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from his base. The army brought in Yim's parents to help convince him to surrender.
If he refuses, troops are authorized to "shoot to kill."
In April of last year, Yim was designated a "protected and watched-on soldier." He was listed as grade A, meaning there was a high risk of suicide and blocked from serving at the North Korean border. Last November he was relisted as grade B, which means Army officials considered him to have improved psychologically and thus could serve at the border. Yim was due for discharge in September.
A spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense apologized for the attack, saying "we truly apologize for causing concern to the nation."