ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 27th, 2008 at 5:50 am

GI Myths: Is the US Military Crime Rate in Korea Out of Control?

Background
Quiet possibly the most common complaint from Koreans about being host to thousands of American servicemembers is that they commit an inordinate amount of crime and then get away with it because of the “unfair” Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). This belief is widespread and completely believed by nearly everyone in the country with no one stopping to ask themselves is it true?

I have even heard from KATUSAs (Korean Augmentees to the US Army) I commanded in my unit that GIs commit crimes and get away with it because of the SOFA. When I challenge them and others that have made these statements to provide an example of a soldier committing a crime and getting away with it because of the SOFA, they always bring up the 2002 Armoured Vehicle Accident as evidence. I always appreciate them bring up that tragic accident because it is so easy to debunk and makes a great teaching point. The accident in question happened while the soldiers were on duty which clearly states in the US-ROK SOFA that it falls under the jurisdiction of the US military just like the SOFAs the Korean government has signed with nations that host Korean troops.

The American SOFA with Korea is actually better than the SOFAs that Korea has signed with other countries because it allows US soldiers to stand trial in Korean civilian courts for crimes committed while off duty while the Korean SOFAs do not. Some examples of the Korean SOFAs being activated to clear Korean soldiers from being tried in foreign courts include the 2005 shooting of an Iraqi soldier by a Korean servicemeber as well as a 2006 traffic accident that killed a Kurdish political official in Irbil, Iraq[ii]. Each of these incidents were handled by Korean military courts because of the SOFA Korea signed with Iraq. Even more telling is that a ROK military servicemembers in Korea do not stand trial for crimes committed while on or even off duty. This just begs the question of if Korean civilian courts are not good enough for their own servicemembers who speak Korean and understand the system, than why should Korean civilian courts be good enough to try US servicemembers who do not understand the system much less even speak the language?

Let me make clear before I move on that I am not advocating for any revision of the current SOFA to exempt American servicemembers from Korean courts. I am only pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of those in Korean society who do want to change the SOFA to be able to try US servicemembers for incidents that happen while on duty when it is something their own military will never agree to, even for crimes committed while off duty.

Despite Korean conventional wisdom that the SOFA allows GIs to literally get away with murder and fly back to America, the truth of the matter is that there is not one reason to blame for why GI incidents occur; GI incidents are a product of simple statistics, the environment in Korea, and leadership. Statistics of criminal activity show that the usual troublemakers are immature, young, male, junior enlisted soldiers. Guess what USFK is primarily filled with, young, male, junior enlisted soldiers. Then these soldiers are thrown into a sleazy “ville” (entertainment areas outside US camps) filled with alcohol and prostitutes; is it any wonder why these soldiers commit the most crimes in United States Force Korea (USFK)? Trouble from this pool of soldiers has happened long before now and will continue to happen in the future. It is a statistical certainty. What is important to determine is the measures taken by USFK to limit incidents from happening and how the USFK crime rate compares to the local population.

When looking at GI crime rates, people need to take a historical perspective on incidents in Korea. Just a decade ago the ville was a much more misbehaved place than what it is now. Back then I was appalled by the conditions in the entertainment districts located outside US military bases. I could not walk through the Dongducheon ville north of Seoul without being approached by multiple prostitutes or seeing a fight break out somewhere. Some of the older soldiers in my unit were stationed in Korea in the 80’s and they told me the ville was tame compared to what I saw then. With the environment that soldiers were thrown into in the ville it should come as no surprise that in prior decades there was much more serious crime occurring involving USFK servicemembers than there are now.

A Historical Look at GI Crime
The USinKorea website maintains an archive of GI Crimes in Korea through published American newspaper reports such as the New York Times and the Washington Post[iii]. The newspaper articles show that there were a number of violent incidents involving US servicemembers over the decades that are truly a disgrace to anyone wearing the uniform, however they also show that since the US-ROK SOFA was first signed in 1966 that US servicemembers have been regularly tried in Korean courts to include even receiving the death penalty. For example the first documented rape that was handled by Korean courts was in 1967, the first murder was handled by the Korean courts in 1968, and the first reported taxi cab related incident was in 1969. The rapes and murders continue through the years and this list is just what the site’s webmaster was able to dig up through published US newspaper reports, imagine how many more incidents happened that were never published. As appalling as all these incidents may be it is also instructive because it shows that the argument that US soldiers can literally get away with murder in Korea and fly home because of the SOFA is totally untrue and has been untrue for decades because all these American criminals that were tried and convicted in Korean courts.

Part of the reason that feeds this perception of GIs getting away with crimes is that in the past the Korean media which was controlled by authoritarian governments would not publish stories about GI crimes fearing that it would harm the alliance between the two countries. As democracy came to the country and the media received increased freedoms, stories about GI crimes began to appear in the news such as the 1992 murder of a Dongducheon bar worker Yoon Geu-mi by Private Kenneth Markle[iv]. Markle had brutally murdered the woman after he found out that she had been with another man the night before. Markle bashed her and then sexually assaulted her with an umbrella and Coke bottle before pouring laundry detergent over the body. The scene was horrific and photographs of the murder spread across Korea and the conventional wisdom soon became that US troops have been doing these types of crimes for a long time and had been getting away with it. However, as I have already demonstrated yes, horrible crimes have happened over the years involving USFK servicemembers, but they were tried and convicted in Korean courts for those crimes; it was just that the Korean public never heard about them. Markle went on to be tried and convicted in Korean court and sentenced to fifteen years in prison, just like the GIs criminals that came before him starting way back in 1967. The only thing that made his case different was that it was widely published.

Reporting GI Crime Today
In the past the Korean media may not have reported incidents of GI crime, but today the exact opposite has happened. Now the media reports the smallest incidents involving GIs. For example just last year a Korean newspaper ran an article about how an American GI brushed a Korean woman with the mirror of his car[v]. Would such an article have ever been published if the woman was brushed by the mirror of a vehicle driven by a Korean? Of course not, but the Korean media will report any incident involving a GI which further feeds the conventional wisdom of out of control GI crime.

Additionally, the proliferation of the Internet has only further added to the perception of surging GI crime. Often times the Internet will be the catalyst to publicize a perceived injustice by a USFK servicemember. For example the 2000 Yongsan Water Dumping Scandal and the 2002 Armoured Vehicle Accident were greatly amplified with an incredible amount of disinformation and outright lies on the Internet before the media picked up the story and reported the same disinformation to further inflame the Korean public.

To further add to the perception of out of control GI crime is the sensationalism that the Korean media often adds to the reporting to inflame public anger. The best example of this is the 1995 Seoul subway brawl involving four USFK soldiers[vi]. One of the soldiers on the subway patted the behind of a Korean woman with him. A group of Korean males than confronted the American soldier about patting the woman’s behind. The woman explained to the male Koreans that she was in fact the soldier’s wife. After hearing this, the Korean males began to spat on and slap the woman for being married to the soldier. Needless to say the husband and friends intervened to prevent the Koreans from beating the soldier’s wife. However, the story that was published in the Korean media was one of drunk, American GIs sexually assaulting a Korean woman on the subway until confronted by concerned local citizens.

Here is how the Korea Times reported the case[vii]:

The four went on the rampage in the subway station in May and beat Cho who tried to stop them, causing him injuries requiring three weeks of treatment, the prosecution claimed. They were indicted without physical detention on May 19.”

With a dishonest media narrative such as this, the incident quickly became one that inflamed anti-US sentiment in the country. This belief was only reinforced when the four GIs and the Korean wife were arrested and convicted of assault. Three of the GIs received monetary fines while the GI husband was sentenced to six months in jail while his wife, the one spat on and slapped, received a fine. The Koreans that started the fight in the first place were never even indicted. This is justice in Korea, that I show later in the essay, continues to be practiced to this day.

A year later the GI husband was able to successfully appeal his case and quietly his jail term was reduced to a fine just like the others involved. If the US-ROK SOFA had not been in place at the time he would have been imprisoned in Korean jail the entire time his case was awaiting appeal for an obvious travesty of justice. This case is one of many examples of why the US needs a SOFA with a country like South Korea where a sensational media and rampant xenophobic nationalism often makes any fair trial of an alleged crime by a USFK servicemember impossible.

Another more recent example of an outrageous arrest of USFK servicemembers was in 2003 when three American GIs were assaulted and then kidnapped off a Seoul subway by known anti-US activists.[viii] One of the kidnapped soldiers was taken to a packed college sports stadium and forced to make a coerced statement to the crowd condemning USFK that was broadcast on national television. Then the soldiers were taken to a hospital and forced to apologize to the anti-US activist who attacked them on the subway in the first place. Despite being assaulted on the subway, kidnapped, and then forced to make coerced statements on national TV, the soldiers were then booked by the police for assault.

A travesty of justice doesn’t begin to describe how despicable this case is. Could you imagine what the Korean reaction would be if a mob of US soldiers assaulted three Koreans, kidnapped them on to a US military installation, and then forced them to make coerced anti-Korean statements on the Armed Forces Network? There would be nation wide outrage in Korea, yet when it happens to US soldiers they are the ones charged with a crime. It truly boggles the mind.

As evidence that the railroading of American soldiers in Korean courts continues to this day look no further than the case of PFC Mark Feldman. Feldman was convicted of attempted rape of an off duty Korean policewoman, along with another USFK servicemember SGT Anthony Basel. Basel confessed and was convicted for the crime, but Feldman told police that he was outside trying to catch a taxi while Basel was using the restroom where the attack occurred. The victim did not see Feldman in the bathroom and initially the restaurant owner that broke up the attack did not see Feldman either in his initial sworn statement to police. However, later the police were able to get the restaurant owner to change his statement and were able to arrest and convict Feldman. Additionally the police pressured Basel to write a statement implicating Feldman in order to reduce his own jail time. During Feldman’s trial he was not even given an adequate interpreter to understand what was going on.

When Feldman was convicted the senior judge presiding over the case encouraged Feldman to appeal the conviction because it was so dubious, which he did. After sitting in Korean jail for 113 days PFC Feldman’s conviction was reversed because of lack of evidence and changing witness statements[ix]. Under the pre-2001 US-ROK SOFA, Feldman would have never been in jail to begin with because the old SOFA only sent USFK servicemembers to Korean jail after their appeals process was complete. Since the 2001 revision soldiers are now handed over to Korean authorities before the completion of their appeals process. Yes the SOFA is unfair; it is unfair towards American soldiers not Koreans.

The Statistics of GI Crime
The Korean media and politicians like to play with statistics as well in order to feed the conventional wisdom of out of control GI crime. Often statistics will be released that shows a high USFK crime rate, however the media will inflate the statistics by including such minor offenses as parking tickets to support their claim of out of control GI crime. Left wing Korean politician Lee Young-soon in 2005 released statistics from the Seoul police department that USFK soldiers committed 780 criminal acts over a six-year period and were not held for trial[x]. To sensationalize this statistic even further, the newspaper headline read, “No US Soldiers Held in Hundreds of Crimes”. Of course this statistic was inflated with unpaid parking tickets but the article also made no distinction of whether the soldiers not tried in Korean court were found to have no involvement in the crime by the police or were handed over to the US military for trial for minor crimes. From personal experience I have seen Korean police hand over soldiers for minor crimes such as urinating on a building to be handled by the military justice system so they do not have to prepare all the necessary paperwork to handle a US servicemember case in the Korean justice system. It should come as no surprise that this politician was later linked to a North Korean spy scandal[xi].

So what do the real criminal statistics say about GI crimes in Korea? For example let’s start with the statistics for SOFA status persons convicted of crimes in Korean court in 2007. These statistics are compiled from the ROK criminal court records involving USFK members published every month on the USFK website:

  • Crime Soldier Dependent Contractor
  • Rape 2
  • Sexual Assault 1
  • Assault 11 2              1
  • Bodily Injury 5
  • Larceny 3
  • Robbery 1
  • Drugs 2
  • DUI 10
  • Prostitution 1
  • T.M. Violation           2
  • Totals: 36 4 1

USFK currently has approximately 27,500 soldiers stationed in Korea. This means that .00131% of the population of USFK servicemembers in Korea are the ones causing trouble while the other 27,464 soldiers are minding their own business and respecting Korean law. Further more if the number of USFK servicemembers is divided by the number of incidents the ratio comes out to 1 criminal incident for every 764 soldiers.

This ratio is even further improved when just serious crimes are considered. The Korean National Policy Agency considers Murder, Robbery, Rape, Violence, & Larceny as major crimes when compiling Korean crime statistics. Of these five major categories USFK soldiers committed 23 cases of serious crime. When the USFK population is divided by this number, the ratio comes out to 1 serious crime for 1196 soldiers.

So how does this compare to Korean crime rates? The Korean National Police Agency has 2007 statistics for serious crimes committed by Koreans on their website. The KNPA has arrested 385,704 Koreans for serious crimes out of a population of 49 million Koreans[xii]. Here is how the statistics break down:

  • Crime Number
  • Murder – 1,062
  • Burglary – 3,731
  • Rape – 7,795
  • Theft – 102,688
  • Assault – 270,428
  • Total - 385,704

Korea has a conviction rate of 99% which means that of the 385,704 people arrested that comes out to roughly 381,847 people convicted.  If the total Korean population of 49 million is divided by the number of serious criminal convictions, the ratio comes out to 1 serious crime for every 128 Koreans. As I have just demonstrated the USFK crime rate isn’t just lower than the Korean crime rate, but is significantly lower.

These statistics are even more interesting when compared by individual crime. For example by using the same equation as above, for assaults 1 in every 183 Koreans are arrested for assault compared to 1 in every 1,718 USFK servicemembers. The Korean statistic for rape is much high then the USFK number with 1 in every 6,350 Koreans are arrested for rape compared to 1 in every 9,166 USFK servicemembers. For combined burglary and theft 1 person is arrested for every 181 Koreans compared to 1 person arrested for every 6875 USFK servicemembers. Finally, for murder 1 in every 45,623 Koreans are arrested for murder compared to zero arrests for murder for USFK servicemembers.

These numbers are truly stunning and show how hard USFK has worked in recent years to lower what was already a low crime rate to begin with. The most stunning statistic the last few years has been that no USFK servicemember has been involved with murdering a Korean.

If you look at murders from 1990-2000 there was the infamous 1993 Kenneth Markle murder[xiii] of a Korean prostitute in Dongducheon, followed by another murder in Dongducheon in 1996 of another prostitute by Steven Munique[xiv], then a 1998 murder by Jerome Henrix[xv] of a prostitute in Itaewon, and then the 2000 murder of yet another Itaewon prostitute by Christopher McCarthy[xvi]. Additionally a USFK dependent murdered a Korean man at the Itaewon Burger King in 1997[xvii].

Now compare these murders to time period between 2001 through 2008 where not one murder of a Korean civilian was perpetrated by a USFK servicemember. In fact a USFK servicemember was more recently murdered by a Korean than vice versa when in 2000 Major David Berry was murdered in broad daylight in Itaewon by a deranged Korean man[xviii].

The Spread of Disinformation
What else is interesting is that the most notorious Korean anti-US group USA Crime has launched a campaign claiming that USFK is releasing mentally deranged soldiers into Korea due to their service in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that they are committing increasing crime in Korea[xix]. The statistics above prove that this is nonsense especially the murder statistics. How does USA Crime explain that during the peace time military before 9/11 that USFK servicemembers were responsible for murdering four Korean civilians, but after 9/11 not one Korean civilian has been murdered by these so called mentally deranged soldiers? They can’t explain it and they won’t explain it either because their sole purpose is to spread anti-US disinformation to the Korean public, which they are very effective at doing. They could care less about the actual truth of USFK crime rates.

It is because of the blatant smears, disinformation campaigns, and subsequent publicity that the Korean public continues to believe that USFK is responsible for an inordinate amount of crime in Korea. This perception problem has caused a command environment within USFK where commanders are trying to prevent every incident when preventing all incidents is statistically impossible. There is approximately 40,000 USFK servicemembers, contractors, and family members in Korea. Is there a town of 40,000 people in either the US or Korea with no crime?

Conclusion
The USFK attempt to create a crime free utopia is statistically impossible. In order to create this utopia, a curfew is implemented, the battle buddy policy exists, the loss of driving privileges for most of USFK service members was enacted, blood alcohol content (BAC) regulations in the 2nd Infantry Division were implemented, certain areas of Korean cities are put off limits, along with a host of other regulations to limit the amount of incidents involving USFK servicemembers.

All these regulations greatly effect soldier life in Korea which effects morale and has the side effect of creating a negative perception of Koreans because everyone knows these restrictions are enacted on them because of a general Korean public that believes GIs are out of control criminals. This perception will not change until the Korean media stops reporting every Korean brushed by a USFK servicemembers car mirror as well as the media stopping the sensationalizing of major USFK crimes without providing context of how the USFK crime rate is significantly lower then the Korean crime rate.

The Korean media is only going to change the way they report when USFK and the American government begins to vigorously defend the rights and reputations of American servicemembers stationed in Korea. Korea has a long pattern of arrests of GIs, such as the 1995 subway incident that are driven solely by xenophobic nationalism. When these incidents happen why are American politicians and media silent while US soldiers are being railroaded through Korean courts? As long as America’s political leaders and media continues to be ignorant of the treatment of USFK servicemembers on the peninsula, cases of nationalistic xenophobic prosecutions will continue for little regard of whether the soldier is guilty or not simply to appease the masses in Korea that desperately want to believe GIs are out of control criminals despite all evidence that says otherwise. Just because Korean authorities are more concerned with appeasing the masses instead of rendering justice doesn’t mean our political leaders should be as well. USFK servicemembers deserve better than this.

________________________________________________

Note #1: I would appreciate if everyone DIGG this story by clicking here and if you have a blog to link to this posting. The internet is filled with disinformation about USFK GI crimes and I want to get this posting pushed up the Google page rankings as much as possible to combat the high level lies and propaganda on the Internet that only continues to feed the perception of out of control GI crime in Korea. Thanks.

Note #2: This posting has been updated with the latest 2007 KNPA criminal statistics and adjusted to reflect a 99% ROK criminal conviction rate.


“Korean Soldier Accidentally Killed Iraqi”, Chosun Ilbo, 13 April 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200504/200504130032.html

[ii] Jung Sung-ki, “Kurd Official Killed in Traffic in Erbil”, The Korea Times, 02 February 2006, http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2006/2/kurdlocal98.htm

[iii] USinKorea Site, http://www.usinkorea.org/crimes/, accessed 14 February 2008-02-14

[iv] “Former GI Convicted of Murder Released from South Korean Prison Early”, Stars & Stripes, 29 October 2006, http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=40120&archive=true

[v] “Woman Demands Justice for Hit & Run Accident”, The Hankyoreh, 27 June 2007, http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/218697.html

[vi] Nicholas Kristof, “Subway Brawl Inflames Issue of GI’s in Korea”, New York Times, 24 August 1995, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CEED81430F937A1575BC0A963958260

[vii] “US Sergeant Involved in Subway Brawl in May Given 6 Month Jail Sentence”, Korea Times, 22 December 1995

[viii] UsinKorea Site, http://usinkorea.org/issues/subway/, accessed 07 February 2008

[ix] Jimmy Norris & Hwang Hae-rym, “Soldiers Jailed in Attempted Rape of South Korean Policewoman Freed”, Stars & Stripes, 16 January 2008, http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=59127&archive=true

[x] “No US Soldiers Held in Hundreds of Crimes”, Chosun Ilbo, 26 September 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200509/200509260010.html

[xi] “Prosecutors Accuse 5, Including American of Spying for North Korea”, USA Today, 08 December 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-12-08-korea-espionage_x.htm

[xii] Korean National Police Agency, http://www.police.go.kr/eng/index.jsp, accessed 14 February 2008

[xiii] “Former GI Convicted of Murder Released from South Korean Prison Early”, Stars & Stripes, 29 October 2006, http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=40120&archive=true

[xiv] USinKorea Site, http://www.usinkorea.org/crimes/1996_murder/, accessed 14 February 2008

[xv] USinKorea Site, http://www.usinkorea.org/crimes/1998_murder/, accessed 14 February 2008

[xvi] “US Soldier Guilty of Sex Killing”, BBC, 16 June 2000, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/793426.stm

[xvii] Terri Weaver & Hwang Hae-rym, “South Korean Murder Victim’s Family Wins Settlement”, Stars & Stripes, 21 January 2006, http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=33581&archive=true

[xviii] “US Strengthens Safety for Its Troops in South Korea”, CNN, 19 July 2000, http://edition.cnn.com/2000/ASIANOW/east/07/18/skorea.us.military.ap/

[xix] Arrange Countermeasures for Sexual Offenses Committed by the USFK, Address Postwar Trauma (PTSD), and Release Information to the Public!”, USA Crime, http://usacrime.or.kr/, accessed 14 February 2008

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  • Tom
    5:38 am on February 27th, 2008 1

    I think the only thing that's out of control is your insecurities.

  • Kingkitty
    6:11 am on February 27th, 2008 2

    Ooooh Sick burn

  • GI Korea
    6:54 am on February 27th, 2008 3

    "Insecurities"?

    What are you talking about? Everything in the article is documented fact that I have even provided endnotes for. The fact that you cannot put together an intelligent argument in response is quite telling.

  • ChickenHead
    8:24 am on February 27th, 2008 4

    Sheesh, GI… you are starting to sound like me.

    The personal attacks are irritating, aren't they… especially when coupled with a complete lack of intelligent counterargument.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    8:41 am on February 27th, 2008 5

    Chickenhead,

    We actually agree on more things then we disagree, I just think you are more conspiratorial on certain issues then I am.

    As far as personal attacks, when someone has to resort to a personal attack it shows I must have won the argument based on the facts.

  • 31 Fox Trot Fort Gor
    1:05 pm on February 27th, 2008 6

    I was once hanging around the usual GI club joints near Camp Carroll (Waegan, next to Daegu) with a fellow GI friend back in 2004. We basically drank some beer, my friend began spending juicy money with a filipina, then near midnight, we decided to walk back to the camp.

    On the way back, we noticed two GIs (they were from some other company within our 306th signal battalion) also walking, and we saw a familiar Korean man with an older SLR film camera hanging over his shoulder with a big flash attached. The Korean man (perhaps in his 60s) was asking the two GIs if they wanted to take a 'memory' picture… you know… a picture to remember the stay in Korea thingy. The GIs (both drunk) agreed, they posed, and the camera men took few shots. The GIs immediately started to walk again, the Korean man said what seemed like "hey… give me your info (phone#?)and I will give you the pictures later…" Basically, the Korean man was going to develope the pictures, contact the GIs later, and then they can pay the Korean man later. The GIs responded "No… you can pay me for letting YOU take our picture…" laughing. The Korean man asked again.."Hey…" The GIs kept walkin… then the Korean men mumbled something in Korean language. That's when the GIs approached the old man, shoved a fist right on the man's jaw that made the Korean man fall on his butt, then the GIs grabbed his camera, smashed it on the concrete, laughing their ass off, then ran away. We went right to the Korean man if he was allright, he got up all shaken up, grabbed his smashed camera and flash parts, hung around for a little while before he walked off to an alley. A legitimate assault, no cops involved, the two assholes got away with a crime. I informed my platoon sergeant about it the next monday… but that was the end of the story regarding that incidnet.

    When I was stationed in Camp Carroll, my close friend there, who was my team leader, had a going away party. We visited the joints as usual, got drunk as usual, and was hanging around as usual. My friend however, became irrational all of sudden (not like him, as I found him likeable person), went to a parked car in a dark alley, started to piss all over the side of the car. His buddies acting drunk & laughing, then one idiot ran toward the parked car and kicked on the side panel, putting a nice sized dent. Basically, I remember them pissing and kicking on an innocent person's car just for fun. Of course, that incidnet never got reported anywhere.

    I've also seen some 'questionable' conducts in Hongdae university area by 'buzzed cut' foreigners, too but nothing serious. Anyhow… these were some of the actual events I've personally experienced during my 12 month station in South Korea.

  • Dr.Yu
    5:12 pm on February 27th, 2008 7

    GI,

    I think this post is a more realistic approach to GI’s crimes in Korea than your previous post comparing numbers of crimes committed by Koreans and foreigners.

    Humans commit crimes everywhere regarding of their nationality, but obviously young soldiers are more prone to this. I hope USFK may find a good way to handle this situation.

  • Kingkitty
    6:52 pm on February 27th, 2008 8

    Well the Kingkitty was stationed at Henry some years ago and together with a friend went to a small restuarante to eat. Sitting in the back we watched a GI get drunk with a bunch of Koreans…you know GI NUMBER ONE crowd. We followed them all when they left and as per our suspicions the Koreans ganged up on the GI and started the beatdown…We stepped in and they ran off…but this sort of thing happens more than people like to admit

  • KimchiKills
    7:53 pm on February 27th, 2008 9

    Had a feeling, Dr. Yu, you'd partake in this one ;-) Well written article by GI Korea, BTW!

    While crime in general is irrepressible, just imagine if the Korean military was stationed in the US and they committed these crimes to US citizens. How do you think the US public would preceive them, even if the crimes committed by the Korean military members were less than 1% of the total crimes committed in the US?

  • The Rides and Tours
    1:55 pm on February 28th, 2008 10

    [...] Myths: Is the US Military Crime Rate in Korea Out of Control?  GI Myths: Is the US Military Crime Rate in Korea Out of Control? # posted by KAZAMA @ 2/27/2008 Comments: Post a [...]

  • Kingkitty
    12:28 am on February 28th, 2008 11

    Well as long as they dont attempt to take out half a University I guess they would not even be noticed.

    Question is would the Korean Military take the same steps the Americans do to compensate the victems…No way

  • ChickenHead
    8:21 pm on February 28th, 2008 12

    GI,

    "We actually agree on more things then we disagree, I just think you are more conspiratorial on certain issues then I am."

    Maybe. But here is what we are faced with…

    When we look at many situations in USFK, there are only a few possibilities as to what is going on.

    Nobody disputes that there are unethical, immoral and illegal actions being openly encouraged, blatantly ignored and actively pursued by USFK leadership.

    This is happening because leadership is either stupidly incompetent, ignorant and unaware, pretending it doesn't exist due to careerism or involved in the scam. There are no other options.

    Are they stupidly incompetent? No. Most officers are smart. Their motivations and thought processes don't always make sense to anyone in the real world… but they are mostly not stupid… or they wouldn't make it to the high level of leadership which is responsible for what is currently going on in USFK.

    Are they ignorant and unaware? No. Every 18 year-old E1 knows what's up in everything from prostitution and human trafficking to how many Koreans are on the slots to how many ox tails are available at the PX/BX to which whore-bar owners play golf with which colonels. Once again, no officer could advance to a senior level of leadership with a total lack of situational awareness.

    Do they bury their head and pretend everything is perfect in USFK without looking too closely at what their fellow officers and senior enlisted are doing… since no good can come of being here and drawing attention… as the successfulness of a ROK tour is generally measured in its uneventfullness?

    Without a doubt. The majority fit into this category. This is a conspiracy… not one of coded memos and secret meetings in the Clean Room… but a quiet conspiracy where everyone knows the ground rules and follows them… as it is not only the path of least resistance but in their best career interests.

    The most ethical and honorable make various half-hearted excuses to themselves like, "Well, I gotta put up with it now… but someday, I'll be able to change it."

    There are also those who, deep in their heart, suspect the worst but, like a cult member, very much want to believe an organization they have devoted so much to isn't rotten in its core and run by a bunch of truly selfish dirtbags practicing the opposite of the values they publicly insist upon in others.

    Are they involved? Without a doubt. There are members of USFK leadership at many levels receiving some advantage, politically, financially or otherwise, to ignore or assist others in making a great deal of shady money… which is generally counter to the interests of the United States, its military, its servicemebers and its taxpayers.

    As the scams are often rather open and of common knowledge, there is no way it is a one-man show. It relies on other members of leadership who are also dirty, those who refuse to be involved, the general apathy of those who don't care as they struggle in their own situations and the laziness of potential watchdogs such as Stars & Strips who don't want to make their jobs more difficult by reporting much more than distractions and fluff.

    This makes it a conspiracy… a "conspiracy of shared values" if not a real get-together-and-plot-it conspiracy.

    GI. You know what is up. When are you going to go before the media as a member of the United States Armed Forces in good standing, spill your guts in a juicy story about all the crap you have seen pulled off in Korea and blow the lid on the whole deal?

    Never.

    Because everyone will close ranks behind you and your career will be quietly over…

    …and that's the conspiracy I'm talking about. And you are a member of it… maybe without fully realizing it.

    An elegant system has evolved here in Korea… and nobody, not even straight-talking Bell, has had the fortitude to stand up to it.

    Its easier to joint the conspiracy for a few years before returning to the Real World.

  • Dr.Yu
    11:33 pm on February 28th, 2008 13

    Oh my goodness … ChickenHead, you are my heroe !!!! You are so bold!!

    Now …. watch out …. you could be sent to Guantanamo, …. Adios amigo !!!! (are prisioners allowed to access blogs from Guantanamo?)

  • ChickenHead
    6:22 pm on March 5th, 2008 14

    Dr. Yu,

    Heh. Believe me, the hero business doesn't pay and it is very, very under-appreciated.

    It is rather disappointing, but hardly unexpected, that the situation is so obviously rotten that nobody even dared to attempt spinning a reply to this post and saying, "Dude. You have it all wrong. See, the way it really works is like…"

    …followed by a reasonable explanation that would make me go, "Gee, I feel stupid. What was I thinking?"

    No. Nobody even tried… not even those who deny any type of "conspiracy" and insist that every event is "isolated".

    Because, in the end, anyone with open eyes and a closed mouth is PART of the conspiracy… be it the real one that organizes the corruption… or the informal one which sticks their fingers in their ears and goes, "La la la!" for their own selfish reasons.

    Dishonorable people doing various degrees of shameful things.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    10:21 pm on March 5th, 2008 15

    Chickenhead,

    You are hinting at this but the biggest problem with USFK is the one year tour system without families and poor living conditions. As long as it stays this way there will never be enough people invested in improving things in USFK.

    It take 3-4 months during your tour to figure out how things work and by then you are thinking of nothing but going on mid-tour leave. You come back from mid-tour and then you just do not want to make any waves and DEROS on time to get back to your family in the states.

    I would not call this a conspiracy, I would call this apathy.

  • Dr.Yu
    12:13 am on March 6th, 2008 16

    Chickenhead,

    History shows that most heroes are acknowledged only after they are dead, so you will have to wait until you die to receive your homage. (Although I don’t need you to die to acknowledge you as a hero.)

    Now regarding the “conspiracy”, I don’t know GI personally, but since he is a soldier I presume that he is forbidden by martial law to issue personal opinions on army issues in public.

    In Brazil people says that “silencing is consenting”, but I don’t know if this principle can be applied to soldiers like him.

    Anyway, I wish the USFK may find a good solution about this matter.

  • LitNet | Francois, soos gewoonlik praat jy maar jou kop se twak ...
    3:11 am on March 19th, 2008 17

    [...] hierdie skakel/E-mail this link Hier is die GI’s in Korea se eie weergawe van misdade deur hulle gepleeg. Jou skrywe verwys.Een GI se skrywe die volgende: "So how does [...]

  • South Korean Perceptions of the US Military Presence in Korea
    6:21 am on April 22nd, 2008 18

    [...] This statement is so illogical that I don’t know where to begin on this one.  First of all, if you rarely see a soldier how do you know anything about them?  This leads me to believe she probably forms her opinion of soldiers off of what she reads and sees in the Korean media which as I have shown on this blog over and over again is extremely biased.  [...]

  • GI Korea2
    4:09 pm on May 1st, 2008 19

    Haha

  • More Sogogi-gate Weirdness — ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal
    3:11 pm on May 8th, 2008 20

    [...] no further then the Yongsan Water Dumping Issue, the 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident, the GI Crime issue, or the US-ROK SOFA issues. All these issues have been demagogued by the Korean media as well as [...]

  • More Sogogi-gate Weirdness — ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal
    3:11 pm on May 8th, 2008 21

    [...] no further then the Yongsan Water Dumping Issue, the 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident, the GI Crime issue, or the US-ROK SOFA issues. All these issues have been demagogued by the Korean media as well as [...]

  • Feature On USFK’s Good Neighbor Program
    6:59 am on May 28th, 2008 22

    [...] complain about the behavior of US troops no matter how well behaved they are.  US troops currently commit much less crime then the general Korean population and have in fact had more serious crime directed at them by [...]

  • We’re Not Fudging the Numbers: Naver | The Marmot's Hole
    6:08 am on June 14th, 2008 23

    [...] http://rokdrop.com/2008/02/27/…..f-control/ [...]

  • Mitchell Bard: Protest by South Koreans Reveals Lack of American Civic Duty - Politics on The Huffington Post
    10:01 pm on June 18th, 2008 24

    [...] Here’s info about the last bout of rampant anti-Americanism: http://rokdrop.com/2008/02/27/gi-myths-is-the-us-military-crime-rate-in-korea-out-of-control/ Yes, I agree Americans should STAND UP for our rights. Not by rioting ala South Korea, but by [...]

  • Another Classic Example that Justice for GIs is Hard to Find in Korea
    9:52 am on June 24th, 2008 25

    [...] USFK having an extremely low crime rate when compared to the surrounding civilian population, clearly justice for GIs will continue to be [...]

  • Looking for the Next Spike in Anti-US Activity
    12:06 pm on June 26th, 2008 26

    [...] don’t directly inspire that much street protest activity. (GI Korea’s SOFA Review + GI Crimes and GI Crimes [...]

  • US Soldier “Rapes” Woman In Dongducheon
    6:51 am on July 10th, 2008 27

    [...] to charge them for rape without even touching the female.  Considering all this it is amazing how significantly lower the USFK crime rate is in Korea when compared to the surrounding population.  Not that the anti-US groups [...]

  • April
    6:27 pm on July 29th, 2008 28

    Dr. Yu, you keep saying you hope "USFK will find a solution to this matter."

    The point is there is not a lot of crime committed by soldiers and many of these "crimes" were not committed at all. Many of the "perpetrators" were actually victims of Koreans.

    How about we hope the Korean media will start reporting accurately and honestly and we hope US citizens will stop being abused by the Korean "justice" system.

    Sheesh.

  • Dr.Yu
    3:54 pm on July 30th, 2008 29

    OK. :neutral:

  • Third class citizens
    6:55 pm on July 30th, 2008 30

    US GIs = American 3rd class citizens!

  • The Korean
    11:40 am on September 23rd, 2008 31

    Reproduced from a different post, just for the context:

    you compared two things: GIs who were convicted at ROK criminal court, and the crime rate acquired from Korean National Police Agency.

    Specifically, it was this statement that raised my antennae: The KNPA has convicted 489,575 Koreans for serious crimes out of a population of 49 million Koreans. I thought that sentence was odd because KNPA does not convict anybody. KNPA is the police, not the court. So I went to the KNPA website (in Korean) to check out that number.

    That 489,575 number you cited is not the conviction rate for 2006. In fact, it was not even the “arrest rate”. It was an “occurrence rate”, compiled by the number of police reports filed. The arrest rate corresponding to that number is 354,131. (In fact, even the English site of KNPA clearly marked the stats as “occurred” and “arrested”, and I see nothing about “convicted”.)

    In essence, you were comparing apples and oranges.

    So let’s try and compare apples to apples, although I admit this is pretty rudimentary.

    First, Korea’s crime rate in general. For 2007, there were 354,131 arrests in Korea. Korea has 49 million people. So Korea’s crime rate, deduced from the arrest rate is: 354131/49mil = 0.72%

    Now, the GI crime rate. The number of arrests from Jan. through Aug. of 2007, according to the article, was 205. That’s 205 arrests for 2/3 of the year. So we can fairly guess that for the year 2007, there were around 300 arrests of USFK, give or take. Your GI crimes post said there were about 27,500 GIs in Korea. So the GI crime rate, deduced from the arrest rate is: 300/27500 = 1.09%

    I’m not going to say that .37% difference signifies that GI crime is rampant in Korea, because that would be an incorrect exaggeration. But I would dare say that it does puncture a hole in your overarching thesis that GIs are less likely to commit crimes than average Koreans.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    1:46 pm on September 23rd, 2008 32

    Note: Below is also a reproduction from the different thread listed below:

    http://rokdrop.com/2008/09/23/fewer-usfk-servicem

    —————————-

    Gents I just got back from work and found this to be a very interesting thread. First of all, I used the 2006 stats because at the time of the posting that was all that was available. Now the 2007 stats are posted.

    Also good point about the arrest statistic. However, arrests compared to convictions for Koreans will essentially be the same number because Korea has a 99% conviction rate for those arrested:

    If you were falsely accused of a crime, would you prefer the trial be held in:

    A. China

    B. South Korea, or

    C. Japan

    Give up? The correct answer is D. None of the above.

    That’s because in all three countries, the conviction rate is 99%. You have virtually no chance of being acquitted, because prosecutors have incredible power over the trial process and judges trustingly assume the prosecutors wouldn’t have brought a case if they weren’t sure the accused was guilty. This recent column by Mike Weisbart of the Korea Times highlights South Korea’s shocking lack of basic safeguards to prevent the innocent from being railroaded. In Japan, courts have been known to convict suspects of murder on the basis of motive and opportunity alone, that is without witnesses or physical evidence. For all the highly visible problems with the West’s system of jury trials, it’s still far better than the quiet but constant persecution of innocent people across Asia, even in the region’s democracies. [Far Eastern Economic Review]

    I will up date the stats for Korea on the posting to show what the number would be with a 99% conviction rate.

    I think the best way to look at the crime rate is by what the KNPA considers major crime: rape, burglary, assault, theft, & murder. This eliminates all the fudging that goes on with the parking tickets to the stats.

    Of major crime in 2007 Korea had 385,704 people arrested. Using my new equation:

    385,704 * 99% conviction rate = 381,847 convictions

    49,000,000 / 385,704 = 1 in 128 Koreans committing a serious crime.

    For USFK crime I use the 27,500 because I cannot find a hard number online of what the USFK number plus dependents is. I have heard that it is around 40,000 but could find nothing solid so I stay with the 27,500 number. Of the 27,500 servicemembers 23 were convicted of major crimes which comes out to a conviction rate of 1 in 1196.

    Also in regards to how Koreans feel about GI crime keep in mind that most Koreans have no interaction with GIs and most GI crime happens in the ville where very few Koreans even see GI crime happen. GI crime is not felt by the general Korean population and is instead the perception of GI crime is manufactured by the media and NGOs.

    A perfect example is the subway incident above. Those soldiers were attacked first by the protesters before being kidnapped. I highly recommending reading this link:

    Seoul District Prosecutor's office announced Sunday it would not seek jurisdiction, nor prosecute a US serviceman, Private Murphy, who hit former assemblyman Seo Kyeing-won during a scuffle initiated by the latter and involving 20 university students and two other servicemen.

    A prosecution official said it had been proven that Seo repeatedly punched Murphy in the face first, and that the private was kidnapped and forcibly detained by the students, therefore invalidating any claims made by the South Koreans. [Chosun Ilbo]

    In regards to the SOFA questions, yes the Korean police on occasion hand over GIs. The reason I bring up the urinating on a building example from time to time is because one of my soldiers got arrested by the Korean police for urinating on a building. He called me I went to the station and the police gave him to me to bring back to post. For major crimes I have never seen the Korean police hand a GI back to USFK to be tried. That is why I think the major crime statistic is the most reliable one to judge GI crime rates with.

    Anyway very good discussion which just continues to make me wonder why journalists and USFK public affairs types who are paid to do their jobs don't crunch these numbers instead of people like us with some free time on the Internet?

  • lilsuey
    10:05 pm on October 13th, 2008 33

    I have read through this sight and have found that everything is based on facts. Thank you to the person who took the time to put this sight together. So, how do we help all those service men and women who are defending the very people who are persecuting them???

  • lilsuey
    10:12 pm on October 13th, 2008 34

    By the way, I just want to say thanks to all the service men and women who happen to read this, there really are people out there who do appreciate you!!!:-)

  • lilsuey
    10:20 pm on October 13th, 2008 35

    I'm really sorry to all the service men and women who have to leave their homes and family to serve a people who do not seem to appreciate it. Just remember their are people who support you, even though the media seems to be flooded with negativity toward the US military, sometimes the greatest things in life are the things that are unseen.

  • lilsuey
    11:11 pm on October 13th, 2008 36

    By the way, the real heros are the people who fighting for the freedom of others.

  • lilsuey
    3:55 am on October 18th, 2008 37

    Just thought I would share this with everyone, especially the service members. Instead of spreading negative views of the US military, lets honor them and spread a message of gratitude.

    http://www.gratitudecampaign.org/shortmovie.php

  • SueZQ2009
    4:05 am on January 4th, 2009 38

    Hey GI. I was an English Teacher in South Korea for a while and understand how hard it is to serve the very people that persecute you. I understand that there is not much I can do in the way of holding the SK media, and citizens for that matter, accountable for their actions, however, I would like to show my support, and the support of many Americans to the US military there, just to show you guys how appreciative we all are for the hard work that you guys do in the face of persecution. So if you would send me a list of things that the troops might like to have from the homeland, I would be honored to support you guys in any way that I can. Thanks again for all you guys do for us-there are no words to express our gratitude toward you!!!:-)

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    12:08 am on January 5th, 2009 39

    SueZQ2009, thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts. I would recommend that any care packages you want to send to the troops should go to troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. Troops stationed in South Korea have access to get just about everything they need that they could find in the US at the PX.

    Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan do not have that luxury. The best organization I could recommend that organizes and sends out care packages among other things they do for the troops is Soldiers Angels. Check them out:

    http://www.soldiersangels.org/

  • theotherguy
    3:38 pm on February 4th, 2009 40

    @Chickenhead

    Ok dude, your WAY WAY WAY out in left field now. Your sounding like either an english teacher, or a junior (E4 and below) trooper who has been kicked out.

    Having just left the service this past spring with five years of consecutive time in Korea under my belt (spring 2003), I can say without a shadow of a doubt there is no great "conspiracy" going on over here. The most you have is some senior officers / SGM's trying to make money off various side business / contracting, and those are being weeded out even as we speak (err type). Your speaking out your neither regions and its rather obvious.

    Right now in the current command climate, all the senior leadership wants zero off-post incidents, having an off-post incident within your command means you have to explain it to the higher ups, and then show what your command is doing / was doing to "prevent" this from happening. So these commanders are freaking out and locking as much down as possible, all to the detriment of morale. As for "hushing" or hiding stuff, sorry you can't do that anymore. Maybe in the 90's and early 2000 period, but these days there is way too much KNP involvement with anything happening off post. And its those same media sources that blatantly bash US Soldiers that also ensure everything that happens off post gets reported.

    "Nobody disputes that there are unethical, immoral and illegal actions being openly encouraged, blatantly ignored and actively pursued by USFK leadership."

    WTF was that about, what immoral / illegal actions are YOU referring too. Last I checked the "Command Message" was hunker down, don't do anything, stay home, and don't get into ANY trouble, or ELSE. But ohh by the way, participate in these Good Neighbor Programs and other KAFA/KAPA events.

    I agree some young soldiers are being stupid, this is no different then the Marines over in Okinawa, or the military in Germany. Or heck, young college kids in general. But the command is in NO WAY encouraging this, or approving of this.

  • theotherguy
    3:44 pm on February 4th, 2009 41

    @GI In Korea,

    Very good article, it makes my blood boil every time I hear one of my Korean friends incorrectly attributing blame to soldiers.

    One time they were talking about the GI hitting a taxi driver, and how American soldiers were so bad because of that. I then asked him how often young Korean youth hit older Korean workers, especially in the service industry. They tried to argue that it doesn't matter, because it was a Korean hitting another Korean. So I then asked if we were being persecuted because of our nationality? Upon which they got real quiet real fast. They were KATUSA if your interested.

    Yes American Service Members get the short end of the stick in any affair dealing with Korean Nationals, about the best thing you can do is get a good Korean friend or girl friend who can stick up for you in those situations.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    12:16 am on February 5th, 2009 42

    I have had to square away a number of KATUSA's before myself about GI crime and especially over the 2002 armored vehicle incident in which so many of them believed the Internet propaganda. Most of them understood just fine once facts are clearly laid out for them.

  • REPKOREA
    11:36 am on February 6th, 2010 43

    I have read through all the comments.

    Just one thing brings me into question.

    Of all the U.S GIs that are sent to Korea, who really understands/respects the Korean Culture?

    There is a social culture that even Koreans disagrees but respects.

    It might be wrong or right, but they just follow that culture.

    This is the Korean way. Parents puting their hands on their children is called "Love Beating(in translation)" but in the U.S it is illegal.

    The Numbers that I see in the comments are really funny.

    Because you are comparing Korean v. GI. Civilian Vs Servicement.

    Not Civilian Vs Civilan, or Servicement Vs Servicement.

    I am currently living In the States. I feel much more insecure living in the U.S as an Asian. Can you please also post the crime rate in the U.S and compare that with Korea?

    Please don't get me wrong. U.S is a great country and I as a Korean agrees with the presence of the U.S forces in Korea.

    It's just that when GIs are off-duty, they do tend to get out of control, and that in Korea is called "Min-Phay민폐" meaning "nuisance to the people". So please understand that word before posting something to defend the drunken GIs who are stronger and bigger than Most Koreans. In my opinion, drunken GIs are bullys.

  • Retired GI
    3:03 pm on February 6th, 2010 44

    Some are for sure.

    (Just as some of your drunken young AND old men are on the street)

    Bigger and stronger means little when out numbered.

    I my opinion, drunken korean men are bullys. The can also be guite racist at times. I remember a korean woman giving me directions once, and the way this drunk korean man (bully) spoke to her after giving us the "up and down look".

    I smile when I think of the look on his face when I cursed him in return for his curse at her.

    I will remember the word "min-phay" (after I check the meaning), to use next time I meet some of those Korean bullys.

    Remember: you WANTED to come to america. Most Military are ORDERED to leave their friends, family, wives and children. To serve in a country they do not know and will not have time to learn in one year. Not a vacation.

    As for myself, I do not feel korea needs america's young people to defend it.

    Korean military should take over. 100%! But many believe korea STILL (after more than 59 years) needs america's young people to defend korea.

  • REPKOREA
    12:37 pm on February 8th, 2010 45

    Can I ask you if you like Korea and your thoughts about Korea itself?

    I would like to get some perspective.

    Because I have been brainwashed being a Korean.

    Howeve do you view Korea, Japan, and China? and the people?

  • Wm Cherry
    3:16 am on March 10th, 2010 46

    I am an American married to a Korean lady I met while in the military in the 70's. I travel to S. Korea frequently to vist family and enjoy it and the Korean people very much. Like here in American when I visit I obey the laws and everyone should. Things do happen and mistakes occure. When this happenes all parties need to be fair and follow the law and the SOFA agreement when it applies. If the S. Korean people or goverment can't do this then we should leave. But make no mistake about it not twenty five mile north of Seoul lives a mad man. I have absolutly no doubt that if we (American Forces) leave an attack will occur. Be careful what you ask for. My Korean friend, Korean family, and wife no this and remembers the horrors of the korean War. When and if we choose to forget history it will repeat itself.The American people are getting a little tried of not being appreicated for the scarfices made. Many American soldiers lives were lost during this bloody conflict let not their lives be in vain. God Bless America

  • bdiego
    10:43 am on May 25th, 2010 47

    GI Korea, actually the stats of 99% conviction in China, Korea, and Japan is laughably wrong. Everybody who remotely knows anything about China knows a ton of people bribe their way out of jail after arrest. Millions of people have done it. In any case, you're pulling the number out of your ass when it comes to China. It's more accurate for Japan although it's getting outdated as the number drops.

  • Mike
    4:36 pm on December 13th, 2010 48

    Do you still see signs like "Americans not welcome here" even after North Korea bombed South Korea? If this is still the case, this reinforces what one of my mentors told me that Korea is indeed "the land of many faces."

  • JEONG CHUN PHUOC
    3:48 am on March 29th, 2011 49

    "US Department of Adjustment and the Principle of US Moral Aptitude in Occupied Territory under International Law"

    Jeong Chun Phuoc, 29 march 2011

    US soldiers sent by the Pentagon to carry out the moral duty and war on terrorism surprisingly lacked the moral sanctity and awareness in local cultural sensitivity.

    Unacceptable acts committed by US combat troops in remote parts of the world is becoming something 'normal' for the US force but a nightmare for the US Foreign Department in rapid damage-control media reactions.

    The recent case of a US military contractor in the Pakistani case is just another apt example of US utter disregard for local customs and respects.

    It is no wonder, the people in South Korea, Japan etc do not want to see the continuance of US permanent de facto 'occupation’ in South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Iraq,etc where the 'war on terrorism' is in fact “US creeping Occupation” of free and democratic nations-never mind the 4th Amendment under the US Constitution.

    The executive summary must be made clear under international transparency rules : US occupation of the Arab world will soon be complete. Libya is just another chest game for the US War Economy chest.

    Barrack Obama’s New World Order will see to it that the ‘Change’ the people want is the complete control and permanent occupation-in infinitive form and degree-of all US interest in strategic assets and environmental territories around the world.

    Russia knows it since the fall of the Tzar. China is fully aware of it after the Cultural Revolution and the aftermath of Mao Zedong’s Red Book. India understands this agenda only after the death of Mahatma Gandhi. The British still cherish the desire of an invisible ‘British Empire’ for ‘Queen and Country’; and Israel will emerge as the benefactor in a world of turmoil after their journey in the wilderness since the biblical exodus. Unfortunately Israel have not learn anything significant though :

    The Wilderness Way

    Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”

    [Exodus 13:17]

    ……………………………..

    JEONG CHUN PHUOC

    Advocate in Strategic Environment and Taxation Intelligence(SETI)

    He can be reached at Jeongphu@yahoo.com

  • Tom
    9:30 am on March 29th, 2011 50

    "Do you still see signs like “Americans not welcome here” even after North Korea bombed South Korea? If this is still the case, this reinforces what one of my mentors told me that Korea is indeed “the land of many faces.”"

    No you won't see those signs. Most of the hatred comes from expats and GI's on the internet. Go visit the Korea Times, and read all the racist comments against Koreans. in Korea. Koreans are kind people toward anybody who are kind to Koreans. But talk about a victim complex… LOL.

  • kangaji
    11:09 am on March 29th, 2011 51

    Mike: I passed by that sign myself in December 2002 or 2003 I think on my way to Kyobo books. That's really the only one I saw, and I only had two instances where I was told to get out of a place or not to come in. One was a speaker store at Yongsan electronics market and one was some place in Itaewon, so it was all near military bases. I was a student at the time so this was general anti-foreigner bias based solely off my looks and accent and not having anything to do with being in the military or speaking English. Actually, some people thought I was German some of the time while I was in Korea when they weren't on foreigner = probably american mood. I remember the news of Hyoseon and Miseon getting hit by the APC in the summer and I said it wouldn't become a huge issue until October with the elections coming up. It really made me mad that RMH capitalized off the APC incident politically and it was one of the factors in that election. Why did everyone care in October but nobody paid as much attention during the summer?

    Well, anyway, I'm glad Baek Il Hoe (or is it Il.Shin Hoe?), Sunshine bribes, and several other things have come to light. It sucked to even be a tal.buk.ja (defectors) during 2002/2003 because there was so much pro-North/Anti-US sentiment with some of the left. Peoples' thinking has REALLY changed since the APC incident. This sign was put up at the height of anti-americanism 8 years ago, so, don't read too much into an 8 year old sign put up during an election year.

  • kangaji
    11:11 am on March 29th, 2011 52

    What I mean is – people on the street wouldn't believe defectors talking about how bad north korea was!! I heard this first hand from defectors. It really baffled me.

  • Avocado
    1:19 pm on September 30th, 2011 53

    I’m living in California now but I served in The 17th Aviation Group in Youngsan 27 years ago as a KATUSA soldier.

    To me the point is very clear. GI criminals have very high chances to avoid arrests after conducting crimes in Korea unlike Korean civilians.

    The arrest rate or conviction rate does not explain much as long as GI criminals still can escape the criminal site and run into compound. And then Korean low enforcement hardly can do much for those cases. Even though US military leadership wants to see 0 crime rate off compound, MP does not show much energy in investigating criminal cases reported from Koreans off compound.

    Koreans do not seem to blame GI soldiers completely ignoring Korean crimes against GI soldiers. Koreans want to have a better justice system and a more effective police act system.

    @GI, issue of one year duty term without family is not a sound excuse. Instead, try harder to improve cooperation between US army MP and Korean local low enforcement if you are in a military leadership group.

    Koreans will be happy to see lower GI crimes off compound but not the GI arrest rate and will be proud to see less stupid attacks to innocent GI soldiers by Korean civilians as well. But we’ll need a better justice and police systems most of all.

  • Bill Cherry
    5:20 am on October 2nd, 2011 54

    I served as a Sgt. wiith the 142nd Military Police Co. in Yongsan for 6yrs during the late 70″s. Crimes against American GI’s or Koreans was not a problem. When one occured 8th Army Command/Provost Marshall’s Office took it serious. At that time the Military Police and Korean Police worked well together to solve these problems. I do visit Korea from time to time and still don’t see a problem. I do however hear bitching from “some” of the Korea people I encounter. I believe the answer is simple if were not wanted, welcome, and appreciated we should leave. But once were gone don’t start crying wishing we were there when you have problems from the north and rest assured when we leave there will be problems.

  • Marcie
    12:42 am on November 16th, 2011 55

    Half of the links in the post are not real… I question the partial tone, and then to not have a lot of real links is intersting

  • Homeboy
    2:14 am on November 16th, 2011 56

    There are good men and women everywhere

  • The Wae Guk In
    3:04 am on November 17th, 2011 57

    I’m surprised opinions are still being posted onto this thread :shock:
    I am currently a soldier stationed in Korea, I also happen to have learned Korean for my job. Aside from the language, I learned about the people, culture, way of life, etc. Korea is an amazing country, with so much to do and do much to see. But honestly, I’ve come to dread going off post with my Korean friends due to the snares from other Koreans, the muttering of American hatred, and the constant disrespectful and inconsiderate actions towards me, just because I am a soldier.
    Yes, I understand that some U.S military stationed in Korea do stupid things, who doesn’t? Name one place in this perfect world where there is absolutely no crime. Exactly, there is no such place. I do not care about the crime rate numbers of soldiers to Koreans, there is a bad person in every race, religion, nationality. What I do know is that in Korea U.S soldiers definitely get the short end of the stick when it comes to being convicted. Every little thing a soldier does here the Korean press makes a huge deal about it, trying to throw them in jail for a petty act that doesn’t even deserve police involvement. Also sentencing in Korea for Americans is much harsher than for Korean natives. When is the last time you heard about Koreans raping a U.S military dependent, or beating a soldier almost to death? NEVER, but it happens way more than you might think. What about all the good the U.S and its military have done for Korea? Also, this curfew is bullshit. It was applied to the soldiers mainly due to the rape case of a Korean minor by a 21 year old U.S Soldier (which in my opinion if you rape or kill someone, doesn’t matter who they were, and what they were doing, especially minors, you should receive nothing less than the death penalty, Soldier, Korean, White, Black, Purple, ANYONE. Call me ruthless). We do not need pieces of waste like that in the U.S military, giving us a bad rep.
    Personally, I have many coworkers, many “buddies”, but most of my close friends here are either soldiers with the same job as me or Korean natives. While being in Korea, I have made many Korean friends, and always the first thing that comes out most of their mouths when I meet them are “Oh your Korean is so good!! Your a soldier? My parents say you rape and kill Koreans, scary. Why are there so many U.S Soldiers in Korea?”… Are you fucking kidding me? This is the type of stuff Korean elders feed to the new generation, which by the way barely knows anything about North Korea and the Korean War and the fact that they are technically still at war. They know more about why they hate the Japanese than knowing that the U.S along with the U.N saved South Korea from North Korean destruction and communism. They seriously have no idea what is going on and why we are in Korea.
    -This is all a completely unbiased write-up of some of my opinions and experiences. I am a U.S soldier, a damn good one, who loves his country and will do anything for it. But the tension in this country between Koreans and soldiers pisses me off.

  • grizzled old coot
    7:08 pm on February 12th, 2012 58

    wasn’t the korean war like 60 years ago?

    one thing u gotta learn about asia is they’ll bleed whitey dry. Then plant the knife in the back when the cash is gone.

    Marry one of dem prostitutes u complain about (gee wonder why so many of em.. must bet THEIR fault).. good luck.. she love u long time.. til the $$ runs out.

    I’ve been to china, korea, and japan. Ironically, China seemed to be the place that most likes americans. The evil communists. But we never occupied china, they love us cuz we nuked japan.

 

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