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PYONGTAEK, South Korea — Camp Humphreys’ commander lifted an off-limits restriction on four of five clubs he’d banned earlier this month, officials said.

Col. Michael J. Taliento’s action Thursday was to take effect Friday, said Clarence F. Slawson, deputy to Taliento.

The colonel lifted bans on the Duffy Club, Top Hat Club, Wall Club and Shooters Club, Slawson said. A fifth establishment, the Ace Club, will remain off-limits until the club’s owner gives base officials additional paperwork, he said.

“We are awaiting further documentation … before a final decision will be made on that fifth club,” Slawson said.

The clubs were among 12 establishments Taliento put off limits Aug. 11 after undercover Army Criminal Investigation Command agents allegedly caught 11 of them selling alcohol to an underage agent posing as a would-be drinker.

The Ace Club was put off limits after one of the agents allegedly was able to “buy” a female worker’s time.

Base officials lifted the ban on seven of the businesses Aug. 19 after the merchants submitted paperwork outlining steps they’d take to curb underage drinking. That action came after an Aug. 18 meeting of the Area III Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, which recommended to Taliento that he immediately lift the ban on the first seven, and that the case of the other five be further reviewed, Slawson said.

Kim Ki-ho, president of the Anjung-ri Merchants Association, welcomed news of Taliento’s decision Thursday.

“I’m very glad he can decide very quickly,” he said.

Earlier this month, merchants submitted paperwork promising to install closed-circuit cameras to monitor bar transactions, post “No Minors” signs in each establishment’s windows or entrance, check servicemember identification cards to weed out prospective underage drinkers, and call South Korean or U.S. military police if ID checks turned contentious, according to Kim.

U.S. Forces Korea policy forbids drinking by servicemembers younger than 21. South Korea’s legal drinking age is 20.

USFK policy also bans servicemembers from buying a female barworker’s time because the practice has been a means of making prostitutes available to customers. In exchange for payment to the bar’s management, the worker is allowed to leave the premises and stay with the customer for a stated period, typically for sexual liaison.

Kim said he’d meet with Taliento on Friday and provide further documents regarding the Ace Club.

“And we’ll be waiting for good news,” Kim said of the Ace Club.


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