Guns banned for US town patrols in Korea after confrontation

U.S. Army Gen. Walter Sharp, left, commander, U.S. Forces Korea,…

U.S. Army Gen. Walter Sharp, left, commander, U.S. Forces Korea, administers the oath of enlistment to U.S. Navy Yeoman 1st Class Kari Betancourt, center, and her husband U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Samuel Betancourt during their joint reenlistment ceremony in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Aug. 11, 2008. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bobbie G. Attaway/Released)

U.S. troops in Korea will no longer carry guns during off-base patrols, following a highly publicized confrontation earlier this month in which South Korean civilians were handcuffed over an illegally parked car outside Osan Air Base.

U.S. Forces Korea spokeswoman Jennifer Buschick said the decision to ban town patrols from carrying sidearms was made Friday evening and implemented at all USFK installations over the weekend. U.S. security forces and military police routinely patrol entertainment districts frequented by troops, usually at night.

The off-base patrols will continue, but the military has “determined that it is pertinent to make an immediate adjustment to off-base community patrols,” a USFK statement said. “We are continuing to review our procedures and evaluate the need for adjustments related to community patrols outside of our USFK installations … we continue to work closely with and cooperate with the community, business leaders and Korean National Police in the ongoing investigation.”

Read more at Stars and Stripes

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  • Freddie Mac

    I spent a year stationed in Korea, what the hell are they doing? The town patrol saved my ass once or twice. They definetely need their weapons. I wonder what liberal genious thought this rule up. And what does that picture have to do with de-arming the military in Korea? wtf?