BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 07:19 GMT
US soldier cleared over Korean deaths
Protesters display posters as they shout
Activists plan more protests for Thursday
A US military court has found a US soldier not guilty of negligent homicide in the deaths of two South Korean girls who were crushed by a military vehicle.

Sergeant Fernando Nino was accused of killing the girls in a road accident outside his base on 13 June.

Map of South Korea showing Seoul and Uijongbu
The trial of his driver, Sergeant Mark Walker - also charged with negligent homicide - will begin on Thursday in the same court, at a military base in Uijeongbu north of Seoul.

Activists dismissed the trial as a sham and vowed to hold a large protest on Thursday.

"I'm shocked. I have lost words to speak," said Yoo Young-jae, one of a handful of activists outside Camp Casey on Wednesday.

Sergeant Nino would have faced up to six years in a US prison if found guilty in the deaths of the two 14-year-old girls.

Shim Mi-sun and Shin Hyo-son were walking to a friend's birthday party when they were crushed to death by a US armoured vehicle which was taking part in a training exercise in Kyonggi province, on the outskirts of Seoul.

Public anger

The US military in South Korea had rejected calls for the soldiers to stand trial in a South Korean court.

A woman prays above photos of the two dead girls
Protesters had called for trials in a South Korean court
Under a bilateral agreement, the US command has jurisdiction over military personnel while on duty. It can transfer jurisdiction to the host country on a case-by-case basis, although it has never done so.

Senior US military officials and the US ambassador to Seoul have issued repeated formal apologies over the incident - but that has failed to mollify public anger.

The case has fanned widespread anti-American sentiment - with opposition growing to the presence of 37,000 US troops stationed in South Korea to counter threats from the Communist North.

Some protests have turned violent, and there have been several recent related attacks on US military personnel.

See also:

07 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
30 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
05 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
21 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
29 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes