Two U.S. soldiers have been accused of raping teenage girls in South Korea in separate incidents last September, prompting small protests near the American Embassy in Seoul, the Associated Press reports.
In response, U.S. military apologized for the soldiers’ actions in an attempt to ease the growing public anger.
Army Brig. Gen. David Conboy, who supervises the U.S. garrison in Seoul, issued a statement apologizing for "pain" caused by allegations that a U.S. soldier raped a girl in her rented room in Seoul on Sept. 17, the AP reports.
The accused soldier, a private in his early 20s, is being questioned by police but hasn’t been arrested, the AP reports. The serviceman allegedly broke into the young woman's room while she was sleeping, raped her and then fled with her laptop computer, reports Yonhap News Agency. The soldier told police they drank together the previous night and the sex was consensual.
Another American soldier was arrested on Sept. 24 on suspicion of raping a teenage girl in a city north of Seoul, reports the New York Daily News.
The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Kurt Campbell, apologized Friday for what he called a "tragic and inexcusable rape that took place about a week ago." It was not clear which of the two incidents he was referring to, the AP reports.
Small protests have broken out near the American Embassy in Seoul and Koreans have also used Internet outlets to express their anger. A minor labor party called for the restricting of movement of U.S. soldiers outside of their bases, the AP reports.