US Soldiers Find Out What Average South Koreans Really Think of Them

Via Popular Military comes a video filmed by Korean-American servicemembers serving in USFK. They interviewed random South Koreans in Daegu on what they thought about the US soldiers in their country.  The opinions on the whole were largely favorable with most criticism being soldiers spending too much time in clubs, womanizing, and not learning Korean.

US Soldier Accused of Stealing Three HMMWVs in South Korea

It just seems that this is a pretty bold theft to try and pull off with little reward when they were trying to sell the HMMWVs for $10,000 a piece:

An American soldier and six South Korean civilians have been accused of stealing three Humvees from an unnamed U.S. base in South Korea and trying to sell them.

A U.S. soldier and six South Korean civilians have been accused of being part of a ring that stole three Humvees from a U.S. base in South Korea and tried to sell them, police said Thursday.

The soldier, identified only as a 47-year-old Korean-American man, allegedly conspired with the others to arrange for three Humvees to be stolen from the base in June and September of last year, police said.

The thefts were carried out by camouflaging the vehicles to appear as unused items, said Kim Dong Hwan, chief detective of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s international crime investigation unit.

“The soldier insists that he was not trying to steal the vehicles with the rest of the guys,” Kim told Stars and Stripes. “The Koreans kept denying what they did at first. But they’ve been saying lately that they attempted to sell the Humvees.”

Kim said it was the first time police have uncovered a ring trafficking in stolen Humvees in South Korea.

The suspects — who also included a civilian contractor working on the base, three junk dealers, a film-prop maker and an intermediary — have been booked without detention.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

What Happens When You Say No to An MP at Camp Humphreys

Here is a power tip for everyone, if the MP tells you to get out of the cab, then get out of the cab especially on a weekend when they have little tolerance for foolishness:

Never say “NO” to a MP! This soldier gets dragged out and arrested because he refused to get out of the taxi cab at a ECP.  [US WTF Moments]

USFK To Establish New HUMINT Analysis Unit

I am surprised USFK did not already have a unit dedicated to doing human intelligence analysis already:

The U.S. troops in South Korea are pushing to set up a unit that will be charged with gathering and analyzing human intelligence on North Korea, local authorities said Sunday.

Human Intelligence, known as HUMINT, is intelligence gathered by means of interpersonal contact.

The move comes as the North’s development of communications security technology is increasingly making signals surveillance of the country’s internal communications more difficult.

According to the authorities, the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) plans to create a specialized unit around October under the 501st Military Intelligence Brigade of the Eighth U.S. Army. The new unit will be called the 524th Military Intelligence Battalion, they said.

In the brigade, the 532nd Military Intelligence Battalion is in charge of human intelligence affairs, but its main duty is analyzing intelligence, not directly gathering it.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

H.R. McMaster Clarifies President Trump’s Statement About THAAD Cost Sharing

As I figured the statement made by President Trump in regards to South Korea paying for THAAD is related to upcoming US-ROK cost sharing negotiations:

H.R. McMaster

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said Sunday that the U.S. will indeed pay for the roughly $1 billion THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, amid neighboring North Korea’s repeated ballistic test launches.

“What I told our South Korean counterpart is until any renegotiation, that the deals in place, we’ll adhere to our word,” McMaster told “Fox News Sunday.”

He spoke days after President Trump said South Korea should pay for the anti-missile system and hours after Seoul said that McMaster had assured its chief national security officer, Kim Kwan-jin, about the deal.

“The last thing I would ever do is contradict the president of the United States,” McMaster also told Fox News. “And that’s not what it was. What the president has asked us to do, is to look across all of our alliances and to have appropriate burden sharing-responsibility sharing. We’re looking at that with our great ally South Korea, we’re looking at that with NATO.”  [Fox News]

You can read more at the link.

Ceremony Honors the Moving of the General Walker Statue from Yongsan Garrison to Camp Humphreys

Another sign that Yongsan Garrison is getting closer to being shutdown:

Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, the commanding general of the 8th U.S. Army, speaks next to a statue of Gen. Walton H. Walker, a Korean War hero, at Yongsan Garrison in central Seoul, Tuesday. The U.S. Army began the relocation of its base from Yongsan to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, with the transfer of the statue. / Yonhap

The U.S. Army at Yongsan Garrison, central Seoul, began base relocation in earnest to Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province Tuesday, to what will be its largest overseas base.

The large-scale relocation project began with a historic ceremony to mark the relocation of the Gen. Walton H. Walker monument, hosted by the Eighth U.S. Army in front of its headquarters.

Gen. Walker was the commander of the Eighth Army when it was deployed to the Korean Peninsula with the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War on June 25, 1950.

“The Gen. Walker statue will be moved from Yongsan to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek,” the Eighth Army said in a release, noting that this event will mark the beginning of the Eighth Army’s relocation.  [Korea Times]

You can read much more at the link.

Moon Jae-in Vows Early Transfer of OPCON from US Military

How long has the ROK been saying this?  However, this time with a President Trump in office I wonder if he will call their bluff or not on this issue?:

Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s leading presidential candidate, on Sunday announced a set of policies on North Korea and national security, including an early recovery from the United States of wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces.

At a press conference in the National Assembly, Moon, candidate for the Democratic Party, said he and his government “will take back the wartime OPCON early” and enhance deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

“We will take charge of our defense ourselves by all intents and purposes,” Moon said.

The OPCON transfer, which was previously set for 2015, was deferred amid Pyongyang’s provocations. Seoul and Washington have agreed on the “conditions-based” transfer, which observers say could come sometime in the 2020  [Yonhap]

Picture of the Day: U-2 Lands At Osan Airbase

Tensions on Korean peninsula

A U-2 ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraftlands at the the U.S. air force’s Osan air base, south of Seoul, after a mission on April 24, 2017, one day ahead of the anniversary of the foundation of the North Korean army. Concerns are mounting on the possibility of the North’s sixth nuclear test on the occasion of the anniversary. (Yonhap)

US and South Korea Complete Land Transfer In Preparation for Deployment of THAAD

According to the article the conclusion of the land transfer to USFK allows the US military to expedite preparations to deploy the THAAD missile defense system to the site:

Heavy equipment from USFK enters a THAAD deployment site in Seongju, southeast South Korea, on April 20, 2017. Some local residents protested the move. (Yonhap)

South Korea and the United States completed the regulatory process needed for Seoul’s provision of a base site for a U.S. missile defense battery, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

A bilateral committee on the status of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) approved the plan for land transfer, allowing the U.S. military to begin work for the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in the some 300,000-square-meter land in the southeastern county of Seongju.

The land was formerly owned by a Lotte Group affiliate and used as a golf course.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.