ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 29th, 2012 at 3:19 am

ROK Drop Open Thread – April 29, 2012

Please leave any links or anything else you want to discuss in the comments section.

  • Dreamboat Annie
    2:05 am on April 29th, 2012 1

    How low can they go? This even involves children.

  • Retired GI
    3:41 am on April 29th, 2012 2

    “this even involves children”. So? So what if it does? “Children” are by nature some of the most evil people. They have to be taught to be good.

    I’m so sick of “OH–the CHILDREN!!!” Give it a rest mate. “Children” will F-U-up in a heartbeat. Like they did that dummy.

    Much like stupid people in large groups, children in large groups can be dangerous.
    Besides all that, there was likely a meal in it for them.

    If THAT is as low as they can go, I’m not concerned.

    Political Correctness has made you weak.

  • Treat Animal Better promote animals wrights
    5:22 am on April 29th, 2012 3

    We should give equal consideration to animals by doing away with suffering, pain, or any other discomfort that might be place on animals from humans hands. Animals should not be kept for human enjoyment animal should remain in their natural enviroment.

    11:20 am on April 29th, 2012 4

    America should reach out to North Korea by giving a gift such as a Buick enclave, something made in America. I think it made in American.

  • childrens in combat
    11:30 am on April 29th, 2012 5

    Many countries are guilty of using children in war even the US past history and furthermore have supported regime that have used childrens to fight in arm combat. Thats how low they can go, as low as everbody else.

  • G.I. G.I. Joe
    5:11 pm on April 29th, 2012 6

    >>”Many countries are guilty of using children in war even the US past history….”

    In which war did the U.S. use children?

  • Retired GI
    6:43 pm on April 29th, 2012 7

    Good question #6. I would like to know that myself.

  • 1SGT(RET)
    7:18 pm on April 29th, 2012 8

    Depends on your definition of “children”. I know that in World War II and VietNam and possibly even the Korean conflict we pulled out or did not allow soldiers who were 17 years old to participate, we waited until they were at least 18. But, I doubt that we ever stooped so low as to use 10, 11, or 12 year olds as they did in Africa and other parts of the world. I also believe that 17 year old soldiers did fight for the US, they either lied about their age at enlistment or used some other ruse to sign up. Econmics not patroitism will do that.

  • MTB Rider
    7:59 pm on April 29th, 2012 9

    1SGT(Ret) Said: I also believe that 17 year old soldiers did fight for the US, they either lied about their age at enlistment or used some other ruse to sign up. Econmics not patroitism will do that.

    Really? Clearly, you have never taught school. While many kids join for the economics of a military job, don’t discount their patriotism. The kids are not all stoners, celebrating 4/20 day every day of the year. Many of the kids I taught were patriots, looking forward to serving. Even after I told them how bored you get on a mid-watch… Or how we used this “Mystery Steak Sauce” while the Officers got A-1 Steak Sauce.

    Seriously, where do they buy that stuff? Nasty! :razz:

  • The Man
    9:52 pm on April 29th, 2012 10

    “Treat Animal Better promote animals wrights”

    What kind of crazy supports animal wrights?

    Or is an animalwright like a shipwright or a playwright?

  • tbonetylr
    10:28 pm on April 29th, 2012 11

    You’re so wright :!:

  • Tom Langley
    12:43 am on April 30th, 2012 12

    I’m a supporter of PETA, People Eating Tasty Animals. I love animals, they are delicious.

  • Teadrinker
    3:16 am on April 30th, 2012 13


    I wonder how they will explain to those kids in 10 months, when a new president replaces him, that South Korean presidents must only serve a single term.

  • Teadrinker
    3:19 am on April 30th, 2012 14


    The Civil War.

  • kushibo
    4:20 am on April 30th, 2012 15

    My uncle (paternal aunt’s husband) who died last year from Alzheimer’s was legally a child (17 years) when he enlisted in the military and fought at Iwo Jima.

    But that’s a far crime from what some other countries do where children are forcibly enlisted into armies.

  • kushibo
    4:21 am on April 30th, 2012 16

    a far cry. And when he did sign up, I think it was all legit. He had to get permission from his parents, I think, but my understanding was that it was all above board.

  • kushibo
    4:22 am on April 30th, 2012 17

    On a different note, will the 9000 or so personnel removed from Okinawa impact Korea in any way? I thought that would be a good subject for a post.

  • Hamilton
    5:06 am on April 30th, 2012 18

    #17 They may exercise more in Korea but overall no. A chunk will go to Guam (less than the original plan), some to Hawaii, and some will have an in/out exercise plan for AUS.

  • kangaji
    10:58 am on April 30th, 2012 19

    So many people think the Okinawa/German BRACs were Obama administration policy but it’s actually a carry-over from the Rumsfield era. It’s counter-intuitive but Rumsfield policy actually did a lot to realign force structure at cold war bases.

  • Zilchy
    1:39 pm on April 30th, 2012 20

    Kushibo – “a far cry. And when he did sign up, I think it was all legit. He had to get permission from his parents, I think, but my understanding was that it was all above board.”

    Maybe it should be legit without mommy and daddy’s permission. Aside from the genious American lawmakers, I don’t see why a 15-16 year old male can’t serve his country. There are plenty of these young men fornicating, driving, drinking, doing drugs, fighting, playing contact sports and commiting “adult” crimes. The term “minor” or “child” has become bastardized (pun intended) over the last 100+ years.

  • MTB Rider
    2:03 pm on April 30th, 2012 21

    I do a lot of bike riding and racing here in Korea, although mostly mountain biking (the DMZ race being an exception). I have a few friends who rode in the Tour of Korea, and while I never had any issues with poor planning or course management in any of my rides, the ToK had a share of their own.

    My only injury (knock on a wood like substance) was a nick to my shin at Muju Ski Resort; the medical staff was quick and professional, with all the right medical supplies. I’ve seen some bad crashes, and while I only got a glance, it looked like the ambulance staff were doing their job by the book.

    I’m not a great rider, so I’ve never faced any sort of shenanigans where someone tried to “help” the Korean lead riders along. But as a “Round-Eye” I end up getting interviewed about every third race, including a before, during and after interview last year down at Wando Island. (If anyone knows how to find archive footage, please feel free to post a link. I’d love to see it!)

  • kushibo
    3:10 pm on April 30th, 2012 22

    Zilchy (#20), I don’t agree. We use one’s eighteenth birthday as a sort of magical cutoff point that seems a bit arbitrary (except that it is roughly timed with completing high school), but the fact is there is a point before which one really lacks the maturity to make fully informed and clear-minded decisions about stuff. Certainly a life-and-death matter like enlisting in the military might be one of those things that should be made by a full legal adult.

    Yes, kids fornicate, but we also have laws that regulate that as well, precisely for the same reasons. Ditto with drinking and smoking and voting.

    Let’s say it became legal for kids 16 and up to enlist, at the same time some entrepreneurial type in the DoD thought they could meet enlistment quotas by offering incentives: enlist today and you can finish your high school ed with two hours of study every night, plus you get a brand new car of your choice under $30K as a sign-up bonus!

    Woo hoo, some kids would say, those who think they might be a tad invincible, that sounds like a great deal! If our nation’s military filled up with 16- and 17-year-olds in this way, that would seem a tad exploitative, no?

    I’m using that as an exaggerative example, but kids lacking knowledge and life experience tend to be attracted by shiny objects. I’d rather see people with clearer heads making that decision.

    I didn’t really talk much about war stuff with my uncle, but I think he was itching since the age of 15 to kill some Germans. He liked fishing, so the US Navy seemed the best choice, and he ended up in the Pacific. He served three years and got out. Not enough time for the VA to provide him any benefits for his Alzheimer’s care, which bankrupted my aunt (literally and legally). I was able to arrange a nice funeral for him at the V.A. Cemetery in Clark County, down near Boulder City.

  • kushibo
    3:13 pm on April 30th, 2012 23

    MTB Rider (#21), that sounds very cool. What kind of bike do you own and how much did it cost you.

    When I’m back in Korea long term, that might be something I’d like to get into. Sounds like a great way to see the country.

    Speaking of which, has anyone taken the Inchon-to-Cheju boat highlighted by The Marmot recently? Can you take a car? Is it choppy?

  • MTB Rider
    4:02 pm on April 30th, 2012 24


    I have a Trek 9.9SSL OCLV Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike, and I’ve spent quite a bit (in Korean MTB Shops!) upgrading her. I paid Won 3.5m used, and have another W1.5m in upgrades and repairs. I’m 46 (47 in a few days) and really enjoy it. I’ve been all over the peninsula with my club, from the DMZ to Wando Island. I’d like to ride Jejo-do in a race, maybe this summer. Longest ride was Uijongbu to Sokcho (tour ride, not race). The things I do for fresh Sashimi…

    You can get a good, compedative bike for Won 2-3m, less if you buy used, more if you buy all the upgrades and bling. I break stuff, so… Yeah.

    I might take a few days this summer and ride the new trail between Incheon-Busan. 630km, I figure three days, more if I ride with my son. I don’t think he is ready for such a long ride, the 40km rides he’s done pretty much were his limit, so 210km/day? Might be too big of a bite.

  • Lee
    5:42 pm on April 30th, 2012 25

    Purely out of curiosity, since I haven’t been able to get any definitive answers on this, does anyone know what body armor is issued to ROK soldiers and marines? I know I’ve seen pictures of deployed ROK troops wearing modern ceramic plate carriers, but I’ve never seen them with troops in-country. Are they only issued based on need? Or are they just only issued to deployed troops?

  • kangaji
    8:07 pm on April 30th, 2012 26


  • kangaji
    8:09 pm on April 30th, 2012 27

    #25: Lee

    They issued NIJ/SAV series body armor to Korean troops at Zaytun according to various blogs and online news articles. Here is a link to the manufacturer with model numbers. Special forces get the cool stuff but according to NAVER answers by people asking why they don’t give ROK troops tons of body armor I think it has to do with budget issues. They can’t afford to give everybody body armor. Yeah, not the best sources I know.

  • Zilchy
    8:21 pm on April 30th, 2012 28

    @ #22 Kushibo

    I see your point and I quess we could come up with many scenarios of exploitation with respect to the topic at hand. But, what constitutes the definition of a “child” varies by culture. The video in discussion refers to N.Korea. Westerns weighing in on the topic are implementing western law or thought on the subject.

    Off the top of my head; Puerto Rican culture (possibly other latin cultures) define adulthood at 15 years old. Wasn’t/isn’t there some debate on the age of consent in S. Korea? Something like no stated age is on the books?

    Anyway, if as a human you are consciously fornicating, drinking alcohol, partaking in drug use, and commiting adult-style crimes, I don’t see the need to argue over clear-minded, mature decisions. The above stated seem to have some serious consequences in my eyes.

    I see it as a cultural shift towards pampering. 100 years ago, European/N. American thought was more old school. My great-grandmother was married in 1926 at the age of 13. She knew damn well what she had to do and how to conduct herself for the time-frame she was living in. Progress or regression?

  • kangaji
    8:27 pm on April 30th, 2012 29

    #25: Here’s the same link in English.

  • kangaji
    8:30 pm on April 30th, 2012 30

    When you decide to put in an international order for their body armor (you have to get a minimum of 500 apparently) it goes to which is a CHINESE ebay/amazon type website founded by Hangzhou born Jack Ma.

  • Jinro Dukkohbi
    6:30 am on May 1st, 2012 31

    #18 – lots of construction going on at Camp Mujuk these days – perhaps for more than just a few visitors/rotators…

  • Lee
    1:03 pm on May 1st, 2012 32


    Thank you kindly for the information. However, I’m confused as to why more troops aren’t issued body armor, when the ROK Armed Forces have such a large defense budget. The K11 is purportedly the most expensive service rifle in the world, and the K2 tank is supposedly the most expensive MBT in the world: I’m sure that a military that can afford such advanced technology would be able to afford equipping its infantry with adequate protection.

    Also, somewhat of an unrelated question: Are KATUSA troops part of both the U.S. and ROK Armies?

  • MTB Rider
    4:46 pm on May 1st, 2012 33

    The body armor issue is always one of being able to take a beating vs. being more mobile and agile.

    I jumped in on the women in Infantry in favor of it, before I really understood the job. As a sailor, I spent much of my career teaching small arms and shipboard tactics, and wrongly assumed Infantry tactics were similar enough. As I learned more, I changed my position away from women in Infantry due to the physical requirements. Move, shoot and communicate with nearly your bodyweight in armor, equipment and weapon is much different than M-S-C with a weapon and body armor only.

  • Lee
    5:18 pm on May 1st, 2012 34

    @MTB Rider

    I think I can understand the weight issues, but I suppose my question is, if modern body armor is issued to the troops on deployment, why not make it available for all infantry to use? In every photo I’ve seen of ROK soldiers and marines in the peninsula, and every time I’ve seen them when in Korea, they’ve either been lacking it or wearing older vests without plate-insert pouches. Of course I might be mistaken, but shouldn’t a military that is regularly ranked among the top ten in the world, backed by a G20 economy, be able to afford at least offering modern armor vests to its troops?

    I appreciate your answers or opinions in advance.

  • MTB Rider
    6:58 pm on May 1st, 2012 35

    Well, my OPINION is that the ROK Army woukd rather have a more mobile force that gets out of the way when the shooting starts, than a less mobile force that can take a beating when the bullets start flying.

    I remember reading an article about the British Army, and their essentually unarmored vehicles driven by women soldiers. The Brits valued getting the hell out of the way in the first place more than taking the hit and keep on going. Often the difference is in how it is politically spun:
    Oh, what about our Troops? Shouldn’t they have the best of EVERYTHING?
    Oh, what about our Troops? Shouldn’t they have the RIGHT things?

    Is body armor really the right thing, or is it the best armor, at the cost of mobility and mission accomplishment? I know I preferred just a vest over dungarees, but that’s where a sailor fights. A soldier, working his way down an alley or through the jungle is a different fighting situation is different than a close up pistol fight on board a ship.

    4:15 am on May 2nd, 2012 36

    Even in Russia if you are good enough to get in college, it’s all free. You don’t have to leave school burden with debt and pretty much a slave to pay it back because student loans are not under any kind of comsumer protection plan. I am aware of some Nordic countries that has what they call cradel to the grave free education and health care plans. Since American young people got a lot of skin in the game for as going out and fighting America’s wars for the common good of the nation, no free education, no universal health care and being throwen in jail at a wholesale rate for marijuana recreational use to support prison systems that Wellsfargo and General Electric are investing in for profite. America or the United States ask way to much of it’s young people for what they get in return. My daughter will leave higher education with a MA degree in education and about seventy thousands in debt, that ok I got her back and any other young person I can help out. And I would suggest you all do the same for some young person you know. The more educated a nation is, is a better return in tax from a better job from education.

  • kangaji
    5:36 am on May 2nd, 2012 37

    #36: Honestly it would be better to just give an employer $35,000 for two years of work experience.

  • kangaji
    7:06 am on May 2nd, 2012 38

    So apparently they blew 140 billion won buying 16,000 sets of “New Model Body Armor” for “combat troops.” So if Korean regular army strength is around 500,00. The body armor is going to go to front line infantry around the DMZ, special forces, and airborne/air assault type units. So, yes, as you said they can afford the body armor, I guess they prioritized spending to go to troops it would make sense to have it first. The article says you can put ceramic plates in it. So it seems Korea is trending toward more body armor, but I haven’t read anything about it expanding to more Soldiers later down the line yet.

  • kangaji
    7:10 am on May 2nd, 2012 39

    *If Korean regular army strength is around 500,000 then roughly 3-4% will be getting body armor.

  • kangaji
    7:22 am on May 2nd, 2012 40

    Units mentioned are literally “전초부대, 특수전 사령부 및 특공부대, 대테러부대, 해안 경계부대, 수색·기동대대, 5분 대기”

    Outpost Units, Special Force command and Commando Units, Anti-terror Units, Coastal Border Guard, Force Recon – Mobile (like a combination of force recon and air assault?), and the dudes with the 5 minute life expectancy/respond within 5 minutes.

  • kangaji
    7:48 am on May 2nd, 2012 41

    Video claims that they could sell the body armor in southeast asia, south america, the middle east and to China since small conflicts (분쟁) are on the rise.

  • Lee
    1:19 pm on May 2nd, 2012 42


    고마워. Thank you kindly for the information!

    Always curious about my country of origin.

  • kangaji
    6:21 pm on May 2nd, 2012 43

    고맙긴 뭘…

  • 2 ID Doc
    7:51 pm on May 2nd, 2012 44

    #32 Lee My information is 20 years old, so things may have changed butI roomed with 2 KATUSA’s; the best roommates I ever had on Active Duty, I’ll answer as best I can. KATUSAs are ROK soldiers selected based on aptitude & English proficiency (and Daddy’s government connections)to serve their mandatory service with the US Army. They are paid very little, around 10USD in the early 1990s for toiletries. Their uniforms, housing, food, training, are all covered just like US Army enlisted. They wear Korean rank on their US uniforms and work alongside their GI counterparts. My roommates were a medic and an X-Ray tech. I was a medic as well. Most of them got spending money from their families to spend at the snack bar or off-post, or to go home on leave for a visit. Discipline was handled through a ROKA Senior NCO who was assigned to our post as a liaison officer. He held meetings once a month to insure everything was OK. Discipline was actually handled within our unit by the senior KATUSAs. One soldier was given a through thrashing as a leave gift from the KATUSA sergeants in our unit. I was told poor attitude & that daddy had connections were the reasons he was beaten. Within the three years of service, they rose from Private to Sergeant, Sergeant after 2 years. If anyone else has more updated info, I would love to hear about it.

  • kangaji
    9:13 pm on May 2nd, 2012 45

    My Ex-Katusa roommate from college (Korean national with no US citizenship or permanent residency at the time)actually got a selective service card sent to him when he registered for classes!

  • Hamilton
    11:00 pm on May 2nd, 2012 46

    #44 2ID Doc,

    They get paid more now, but not a whole lot more and the comittment is just under 2 years after basic. They now make full SGT at about 18 months but little of the program has changed since you left.

    KATUSA on KATUSA hazing is still a big problem as well.

  • JoeC
    3:36 am on May 3rd, 2012 47


    Actually, they probably should raise the age set for being an adult.

    It’s been found that the human brain is still developing until the mid-20′s. The under-development is in the connections to the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is where you have the controls and inhibitors we call judgement.

    Maybe USFK should take that into consideration when the decide to issue blanket discipline policies, like curfews, instead of age specific ones.

  • Katusa came from all walks of Korean society
    6:20 am on May 3rd, 2012 48

    Katusa came from all walks of life in their society. Back in the 70′s I went to Seoul Youngdupo this part of the city was no pleasure palace or his home. On the other hand I notice Katusa’s girl friends that came around on the weeknd was dressed very nicely and behaved and appear to be middle to what ever class level higher.

  • 2ID Doc
    9:34 am on May 3rd, 2012 49

    #46 Hamilton, thanks for the update, I regret I lost contact with my roommates when I left. #48 One of my roommates introduced me to his family when they came for a visit, his sister was stunning. He never would let me meet her again…the rest of the KATUSAs teased him about that for some time. Never saw any GFs, but we were almost as far north as most South Koreans could travel at the time. Several of the guys would disappear on the weekends, I suppose they took the train to see family or friends.

  • Glans
    2:37 pm on May 3rd, 2012 50

    The Chief of the Russian General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, doesn’t like our plans for missile defense in Europe. “A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” he said at an international conference attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials. Here’s the AP story at WashingtonPost.


RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.

Bad Behavior has blocked 31604 access attempts in the last 7 days.