A female South Korean navy chief petty officer, whose identity was withheld, was found dead at her residence in Pyeongtaek, months after alleging sexual harassment by her superior, Seoul's defense ministry said.
According to local media, the female officer had previously complained against her superior over alleged sexual abuse in a restaurant.
According to official reports, the alleged harassment took place in May, while the victim and the suspect were having lunch together near their base.
The case was promptly reported to an immediate superior and the suspect was given a verbal warning. Further, at her request, the case was officially reported to higher-ups and Defense Minister Suh Wook.
She had complained in May to the higher authorities about the harassment, but it wasn't investigated until this month, reports said. Military investigators have requested an arrest warrant for the suspect.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered a thorough investigation into this case. The family of the deceased has appealed for justice and fair verdict, according to the Navy. Defense Minister Suh has offered condolences and sought a public apology for the unfortunate loss.
As per media reports, previously, there have been such cases involving the military in recent months. The public is outraged over a series of similar incidents in South Korea. In May, an Air Force non-commissioned officer killed herself three months after she was sexually abused by a colleague. In July, a two-star brigadier general was relieved of his duties and arrested for sexually abusing a female subordinate.
Despite apologies and pledges for reform from top leaders and commanders, such incidents raise questions over the capability of the military in restraining such crimes.
President Moon has urged the military to regain the trust of the public lost following a series of embarrassing incidents. Minister Suh has condemned such crimes and expressed his regret over the death of the navy officer.