ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on March 19th, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Debunking US-Korea SOFA and GI Crime Claims

» by in: USFK

Due to the recent spate of high profile GI misbehavior the Korea Herald has an article published that of course the so called professors and other experts interviewed have little idea what they are talking about:

Yang Uk, a research fellow at the Korea Security and Defense Forum, is among those who see problems with the current agreement.

“The reason why the SOFA regulation is different from Japan and Germany is that the U.S. could not believe (in) our judicial system back then. We have a very credible system right here (now) so it should be changed,” said Yang.

SOFAs compared

Critics of SOFA argue that its terms are less beneficial to Korea than similar agreements with Germany and Japan. Specifically, they say, the agreement inhibits Korean police from entering U.S. bases to interrogate or give chase to suspects.

“It is understandable that U.S. forces don’t want any foreign police on their bases or camps, but actually, they are working with Korean society so their help will be crucial to U.S.-Korea … cooperation,” said Yang. “So that’s the desirable change.” [Korea Herald]

Can Mr. Yang point out in the Japanese SOFA where police can just enter A US military base and grab someone out of the barracks? I sure do not see it. Also can Mr. Yang point out when USFK has not handed over a suspect when requested by the Korean police in compliance with the SOFA? Others have tried to answer this question and they always fail. For a more balanced discussion on the US-ROK SOFA I recommend everyone who hasn’t already to read my prior ROK Drop posting on this subject:

Further Reading: GI Myths: The Unfair US-ROK SOFA

The Korea Herald goes on to bring up environmental issues with USFK which I have long debunked here, but of course no discussion of USFK environmental pollution would be complete with out someone bringing up the 2000 Yongsan Water Dumping Incident:

More infamously, in 2000 the U.S. military was forced to apologize for dumping formaldehyde in the Hangang River. SOFA does not place responsibility on the USFK for environmental matters. Choi said that environmental damage by the U.S. military and subsequent refusals to accept liability were further examples of the problematic attitude shown toward the local population.

Once again I recommend everyone read my prior posting on this topic that shows what a fraudulent issue this is:

Further Reading: GI Myths: The 2000 Yongsan Water Dumping Scandal

The article then moves into GI crime and of course the Korea Herald has another expert that doesn’t know what he is talking about:

For some observers, however, it is not the text of SOFA itself that is the problem. Choi Seung-hwan, a professor of law at Kyung Hee University who has studied SOFA issues, said the biggest issue was a lack of willingness on the part of the U.S. military and Korean government to control crime and nuisance behavior by USFK personnel.

“My feeling is that the American authorities in charge of American soldiers here in Korea are very reluctant to control (them) even though they have committed very serious crimes in Korea,” said Choi. “They don’t cooperate with Korean authorities to settle, to solve criminal issues.”

Maybe Mr. Choi can answer the question of when has USFK not handed over a suspect to Korean police in compliance with the SOFA? If he can claim that USFK is not cooperating with Korean authorities then he should be able to provide plenty of examples. This Mr. Choi guys even goes so far to pull the “Korea is a small country” card:

“My feeling is the American government respects the German government and they are fearful of the German people, but in Korea the American government does not fear the Korean population because Korea is a very small country,” said Choi. “Suppose that Korean soldiers (were) stationed in the U.S. Suppose they committed a crime. Suppose that the Korean authorities in charge of the Korean soldiers in America don’t punish Korean soldiers who committed a crime against innocent American people. Could American people accept that kind of act? I don’t think so.”

Korea may be a small country in land size, but it is a country of 50 million people with one of the world’s largest economies and militaries. Korean products and cars are used by people all over the world. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is a Korean. Korea is not a small country, but rather one of the world’s leading countries. As far as Korean soldiers being stationed in the US, there are already Korean soldiers stationed in the US. I have never been to a military school that did not have a Korean soldier in it. If they commit a crime off duty they will be held accountable for it in accordance with the SOFA between the ROK and US.

Anyway I recommend reading the whole article because the Korea Herald did do a good job balancing the anti-USFK experts with people with a more reasonable viewpoint in regards to the SOFA and GI Crime.

Tags: , , , , ,
- 1,369 views
42
  • DMZDave
    5:31 pm on March 19th, 2013 1

    GI : You continue to do a great service by calmly presenting the facts. I appreciate the great job you do. I just wish you would recognize that the best answer is to end this nonsense. The Koreans are a rich nation, fully capable of defending themselves.

    Over 20 years ago, a Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly in a rare moment of candor said ” we should stop thinking in terms of anti-Americanism or pro- Americanism and recognize that we pay these Americans to defend us.” Yeah, he called us mercenaries. He was spot on and at this point the only rationale for our continuing presence is to defend against the Pentagon’s greatest threat – the reduction of general officer billets.

  • MTB Rider
    6:03 pm on March 19th, 2013 2

    KNP isn’t allowed on base? When I first came to Korea, I was down at Yongsan and saw a KNP cruiser come through the gate in pursuit of a soldier who was trying to “make it across the border.” The guy was pulled over maybe 50-100m INSIDE the gate, near the PX. The Korean cop was mad, started yelling at the guy saying that when the police use the siren, the driver is supposed to stop.

    Did the Korea Herald include a link to GI Korea’s well written and documented post?

  • Hamilton
    6:33 pm on March 19th, 2013 3

    Yep the KNP have been inside many US bases for years. I just saw several last Sunday using the latrines just inside the Commisary gate.

    Also the Korean police and prosecutors were allowed in just a week ago to interview the BB bandit who was in the hospital for the gunshot wound.

  • Smokes
    7:32 pm on March 19th, 2013 4

    Unfortunately this is mostly preaching to the choir. Even if this site were fully translated into Korean the message simply wouldn’t get out to those who actually need to hear it and understand.

    Maybe if you had 유재석 or some K-Pop stars on here telling the facts some Korean might pay attention.

    I dig the old guy’s 40′s style school cap though in the photo.

  • Denny
    7:32 pm on March 19th, 2013 5

    #1 Neither Democrats nor Republicans want to remove troops from Korea or Japan, so we are stuck with the US troop presence in East Asia.

  • Bobby Ray
    8:01 pm on March 19th, 2013 6

    Hey there GI Korea when you retire from the military you need to go on over to Korea and get yourself a high paying job as a contractor or consultant for that USFK PAO. As it is you are already doing their job for them. Them articles should be required reading for them. Maybe you could reduce them all to easy talking point and send them an email so they wouldn’t have to work so hard doing nothing. How come that USFK don’t have no kind of strategy in dealing with the Korean media and getting that info out? Who the heck uses up all that golf course budget? Somebody should be inviting them reporters and editors and such for golf and dinner over tax free whiskey where they can go over your talking points in a real friendly way and then introduce some swell fellow as a contact point they can call up next time they want to run some article who can sit down and clear up their facts for them with a fact sheet full of examples. Heck that worthless PAO should be making its own fact sheet and sending it to all them newspapers. Good grief somebody send them a link to this here post.

  • 2ID Doc
    8:14 pm on March 19th, 2013 7

    Anyway I recommend reading the whole article because the Korea Herald did do a good job balancing the anti-USFK experts with people with a more reasonable viewpoint in regards to the SOFA and GI Crime.

    I recommend The Onion for it’s factual reporting as well. After all DPRK thinks it’s great!

  • tbonetylr
    8:29 pm on March 19th, 2013 8

    “If they commit a crime off duty they will be held accountable for it in accordance with the SOFA between the ROK and US.”

    Which says what? That Korean soldiers will not be prosecuted in American civilian/criminal courts, rather, and only by the Korean military in its own military court?

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:40 pm on March 19th, 2013 9

    8. Depends on where the crime was committed and whether on or off duty. I imagine the ROK SOFA withe the US and the US SOFA with the ROK are very similar.

  • tbonetylr
    9:37 pm on March 19th, 2013 10

    #9, Then why does it say “The Korean military has never allowed one of their soldiers to be tried in a foreign host nation’s civilian courts, which shouldn’t be surprising considering that Korean soldiers do not even stand trial in civilian courts in their own country.”

    See “GI Flashback: The 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident”
    http://rokdrop.com/2008/06/13/gi-myths-the-2002-armored-vehicle-accident/

  • Smokes
    9:55 pm on March 19th, 2013 11

    Yonhap’s chimed in on this too and somewhat agree that the SOFA doesn’t prevent the ROK from investigating cases that they have jurisdiction over.

    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2013/03/19/78/0200000000AEN20130319000600315F.HTML

  • Leon LaPorte
    11:11 pm on March 19th, 2013 12

    10. Perhaps none of the few soldiers sent for training in the US got in trouble.

    Perhaps if they did get in trouble while training in the US, the US handed jurisdiction over to the ROK military.

    There’s two possible answers to your (leading) question.

    If you’re trying to prove a point, don’t ask a question without anticipating possible answer(s).

  • Smokes
    11:14 pm on March 19th, 2013 13

    My limited meetings with ROK Military sent overseas to Ft. Huachuca was with senior NCO’s and Officers who had families with them. They were usually over 30. Considering Sierra Vista was snoozeville anyway there wasn’t much opportunity to get into trouble aside from DUI’s.

  • Baek, In-je
    11:16 pm on March 19th, 2013 14

    Ever notice how similar the South Korean media is to the North Korean media? No accountability for untrue “news” stories? Check. Racism right out in the open and in your face? Check. A gullible population who blindly believe whatever they are told? Check. Stories based on lies, unchecked facts, innuendo, speculation, and half truths? Check.

  • BBBBBBBBBELL
    11:27 pm on March 19th, 2013 15

    @14: They learned it from the US media. Hype sells adverts, adverts make money. People will want money and therefore promote the hype. Koreans have learned well from the land of Bill O’reilly and Piers Morgan.
    Furthermore, number 14…I see a trend in your postings of pointing out inadequacies that Koreans have without acknowledging that many western countries to include the US also have. While I find your blog absolutely hilarious (I was in tears with your Coming…Coming up the hill) I hope you are not taking yourself too seriously.

  • johnhenry
    11:59 pm on March 19th, 2013 16

    Want to read something funny. Go to http://epaper.stripes.com and check out today’s issue. The Korean prosecutor isn’t charging the Korean dude who took a knife to some soldiers. Why not, you ask? Well, according to the KNP, the dude was defending himself becuase he was being assaulted by those soldiers. Of course, the only reason they were assaulting him was because, yes, you guessed it, he took a freaking knife to them! Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the baseball bat that the SSG in that incident was weilding wasn’t a real bat after all; ’twas just a kids’ toy plastic bat.

  • Baek, In-je
    11:59 pm on March 19th, 2013 17

    @15,
    If they learned it in the US media, then they learned it from Orson Wells’ famous broadcast. The US media is hopelessly polarized, but if one side lies, the other side will expose those lies. In Korea, this doesn’t happen.

    The US has many many areas that are inadequacies (i.e. seriously suck). More than Korea (there I’ve said it). But everyone knows what the inadequacies are and there is dialogue and steps to ameliorate said inadequacies. Koreans are incapable of such introspection…so very, very incapable, so the problems continue ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    And I don’t take myself too seriously…no one else does.

  • Mongoose
    1:03 am on March 20th, 2013 18

    #17, You are just an idiot. Please excuse for the directness but you are spreading false information. You are spreading vicious hatred.

    I would like to formally file complaint against your postings to the moderator here. Although I like most of the posts whether they are pro- or anti- Korean, #17′s posts degrade everything about Korea and its people.

    This guy or it does not sufficiently pose any serious materials on why he thinks of Korea. This thing just spews out hatred for some reason that we all do not know, and that sarcastic remarks that he’s made and the stupid blog of his is repulsive. I hope non-Koreans who visit ROK DROP do not find his information to be correct. It is furthest from the truth.

  • tbonetylr
    1:14 am on March 20th, 2013 19

    # 12,
    Are you serious, what point would I be trying to prove? If I don’t ask how else am I suppose to know? If you don’t know that’s fine, but are you offended with my “leading” question. :shock:

    The part I quoted above from today sounds like a possible about-face from what was written about 2002. Perhaps there’s good reason but I just want to know, I’m sorry.

  • tbonetylr
    2:13 am on March 20th, 2013 20

    # 16,
    That link didn’t help me, but if what you say is true it would mean that S. Korea is doing the opposite it asks of USFK.
    “USFK told to take stern steps against GI crimes”
    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/03/120_132291.html

    You see, if a Korean says something to offend a foreigner the foreigner is suppose to just accept it. But if a foreigner says something to offend a Korean(or his bar) then a Korean can attack the foreigner with a knife, stab him, make him bleed blood, be questioned, then let go, all in the name of “defense.” There is a “defense” clause in S. Korea after all. :oops:

    The “sticks and stones may break my bones” expression doesn’t exist for Koreans or its one-sided.

  • tbonetylr
    2:25 am on March 20th, 2013 21

    # 18,
    There is some truth to what he said in his comment(#17) but why don’t you be specific and tell us what exactly he’s lying about there? When the Korean media lies about foreigners Koreans do for the most part believe it and rarely will you find another Korean or media source make a correction. Korean gov’t offices/officials have been known to ask a Korean who is trying to help a foreigner “Why are you helping him/her?”

  • Leon LaPorte
    2:25 am on March 20th, 2013 22

    19. OK OK! I withdraw the offending portions and offer only the two possibilities I listed as possible reasons why “The Korean military has never allowed one of their soldiers to be tried in a foreign host nation’s civilian courts, which shouldn’t be surprising considering that Korean soldiers do not even stand trial in civilian courts in their own country.

    I think these are very possible, and plausible, reasons:

    1. Perhaps none of the few soldiers sent for training in the US got in trouble.

    2. Perhaps if they did get in trouble while training in the US, the US handed jurisdiction over to the ROK military.

    Let us continue!

    Do you agree these may be a reason, along with a lot fewer and older, higher ranking, troops visiting the US?

  • Roger Wilco
    3:04 am on March 20th, 2013 23

    The SOFA is a political wedge that is being used by the Korean Left to create the “big lie” that the US military is misbehaving in South Korea and the Korean conservatives are letting them get away with it. The Korean Left will continue to repeat the “big lie” until enough Koreans believe it to actually force a renegotiation of the SOFA treaty then they will claim that it was all a sham. In other words it will always be an issue because the Korean Left has no other issues.

  • Baek, In-je
    3:18 am on March 20th, 2013 24

    “#17, You are just an idiot. Please excuse for the directness but you are spreading false information. You are spreading vicious hatred.

    I would like to formally file complaint against your postings to the moderator here. Although I like most of the posts whether they are pro- or anti- Korean, #17′s posts degrade everything about Korea and its people.

    This guy or it does not sufficiently pose any serious materials on why he thinks of Korea. This thing just spews out hatred for some reason that we all do not know, and that sarcastic remarks that he’s made and the stupid blog of his is repulsive. I hope non-Koreans who visit ROK DROP do not find his information to be correct. It is furthest from the truth.”

    Please understand my culture. We have Freedom of Speech in my country. A freedom that men and women have died to protect, and many men who have died to protect that even in this hell hole of a country.
    This is a forum for us, not you. If you like to read the stories and comments, great. If it makes you angry (hwapyoung), go and take it out on someone you bump on the street. We dont want your censorship here.
    And dont go to my blog. It isnt for you. Other people like it. If you dont, that is fine. I dont care.
    Stop attacking me on this forum or I will kill myself. I will find a subway station without suicide doors and kill myself.

  • Baek, In-je
    4:13 am on March 20th, 2013 25

    I know that there is a new moderator who is not so pro-American. I would just respectfully ask that my posts are not censored unless I go too far. I have a right to say what I want to say here, on a forum that I value and respect. I would appreciate a little latitude vis-a-vis my first amendement rights…the extension of which is not implicit on this blog, but is granted, nevertheless, by the owner of the blog…a true American. Thank you for your consideration.

  • tbonetylr
    4:23 am on March 20th, 2013 26

    # 22,
    Are they allowed to drive in the U.S.? If so, then I’d find it hard to believe they are perfect drivers or haven’t ever had a DUI. I don’t know how many ROK soldiers have attended American “military school” or do so each year, nor do I know the period of time this nonsense has been going on. But, kick them out because their “problematic attitude shown toward the local/American population.”

    The question remains.

  • Leon LaPorte
    4:46 am on March 20th, 2013 27

    Baek, In-je, I may or may not agree with you (which is irrelevant anyway) but I despise overzealous moderators. I hope its not happening again…

  • tbonetylr
    6:05 am on March 20th, 2013 28

    # 27,
    In that respect,I know of one known blog(so do you) that has become worse than the Eng. teacher website Daveseslcafe. :lol:

  • Glans
    6:45 am on March 20th, 2013 29

    Baek, the First Amendment doesn’t come into play here. It limits the powers of the government, not those of blog moderators.

  • John in NY
    9:15 am on March 20th, 2013 30

    #29, what would a gyopo know about America and our culture?

  • Leon LaPorte
    2:05 pm on March 20th, 2013 31

    29. That is true but if the mods piss off all the commenter, they may choose to stop coming, which makes a blog rather pointless.

  • Baek, In-je
    8:05 pm on March 20th, 2013 32

    Glans,
    In my country (please understand my culture), we use the Freedom of Speech part of the First Amendment in an informal way as well (read: not rule of law, but as one of the basic guiding principles of our democracy, and public discourse therein). So, while our gracious host at this blog has no actual legal obligation to extend Freedom of Speech to this blog, he extends it anyways as a good American would.

    Now suck on that for a while.

  • John in NY
    8:10 pm on March 20th, 2013 33

    #32, Baek, you are not an American. You are a gyopo who has lost touch with the rest of us as you’ve been rotting away in Korea. Please don’t presume to tell us Americans what our culture is. You have not contributed to America for years now and have lost grips with the state of the country.

    Now go post another sob story. :razz:

  • Baek, In-je
    9:39 pm on March 20th, 2013 34

    John, I am a real American…you know, blond hair, blue eyes…a REAL American. And you write pretty well for a gyopo, but you might have “lost grips” on reality. How would you know what I do or don’t contribute to American? Why don’t you focus on the content of the blog and not on me. (Strange little man).

  • John in NY
    9:48 pm on March 20th, 2013 35

    Oh stop it gyopo. :razz:

  • Smokes
    10:03 pm on March 20th, 2013 36

    35: I think BIJ is actually that virtual guy on his wesbite. Like the MCP from Tron he’s grown beyond his programming and evolved to a hilarious night show host that bring us laughs from the land of the morning clam.

  • Baek, In-je
    12:54 am on March 21st, 2013 37

    Close smokes. Maybe more like CLU and Flynn. I let my alter ego do all the dirty work, and this keeps me sane in the Land of the Moaning Clam. And don’t call me a kyopo; it is insulting. Baek, In-je means “White Jay” in Korean.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    3:58 am on March 21st, 2013 38

    @26- Tbone, the International Military Student program does not have a typical SOFA so a ROK soldier attending school does not fall under a reciprocal SOFA. They fall underneath a general agreement that all students who attend US military schools will follow US laws. So if they do commit driving infractions they will fined just like anyone else. I once had a Thai soldier in a school I was attending who got caught doing 55 in a 15 mph school zone. Due to how fast he was driving he had to go to traffic court. He could not believe he got pulled over especially when there was no kids walking across the road. He later told me that was one of the best cultural experiences he had in the US.

    A reciprocal SOFA covers units. The US and ROK have a SOFA because US servicemembers are under orders to Korea unlike international military students who volunteer. If an IMS does not want to fall under US laws they do not have to go, servicemembers with orders have no choice. Just like when the ROK deploys soldiers to Afghanistan, they are under orders and thus a SOFA with Afghanistan is in effect. I have never read of a ROK soldier being tried in a foreign court room with a country that they have a SOFA with.

  • Glans
    6:42 am on March 21st, 2013 39

    Baek, “Now suck on that for a while,” is offensive. Neither the Constitution nor this blog prevents you from saying it, but henceforth I shun you.

  • tbonetylr
    5:40 pm on March 21st, 2013 40

    @ GI,
    Thank you!

  • Baek, In-je
    6:42 pm on March 21st, 2013 41

    Oh no! I have been shunned by a part of a penis!

  • Bobby Ray
    7:45 pm on March 21st, 2013 42

    Baek your website is pretty darn funny but I sure do wish you would keep your brand of humor mostly there and let GI Korea’s brand of serious discussion be the main attraction here but I reckon just about everyone sees the irony in saying suck it and being shunned by someone using the name of the sensitive bulbous vascular structure at the distal end of the mammalian peener.

 

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 29706 access attempts in the last 7 days.