The defense ministry said Monday it will strengthen education for soldiers on the use of mobile phones to prevent digital sex crimes, after an Army soldier has been accused of involvement in a high-profile online sexual blackmail case.
The private first class, whose identity has been withheld, is under investigation over suspicions he distributed content of women performing gruesome sex acts under coercion in collaboration with the so-called Nth room case's prime suspect, Cho Ju-bin.
The military prosecution has sought a warrant to arrest him pretrial.
"The Army clearly understands the significance and severity of this case," its spokesman Col. Jeon Ha-kyu said during a regular press briefing.
Choi Hyun-soo, the ministry's spokesperson, said the ministry will join a pan-government task force to devise measures to prevent similar cases from recurring and educate soldiers not to commit such crimes using their phones.
Since last year, conscripts have been allowed to use mobile phones in barracks after work.
"The defense ministry will strongly and strictly punish digital sex crimes, such as the recent Telegram Nth room case, by thoroughly collaborating with civilian investigative authorities," Choi said.
The Nth room case's main culprit, Cho, is accused of luring and threatening victims into producing sexual content and distributing such photos and videos via Telegram chat rooms. He was arrested last month.
Police said at least 103 people, including 26 teen girls, are believed to have been exploited in the case. Authorities have so far listed the nicknames of about 15,000 paid members of the chat rooms and are now tracking down their personal identities. (Yonhap)