Camp Humphreys issues travel restrictions ahead of protests
May 14, 2006
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Officials at Camp Humphreys have imposed fresh travel restrictions for Sunday on members of the U.S. military community due to massive anti-U.S. protests scheduled for the area.
Some 10,000 or more anti-U.S. demonstrators opposing Camp Humphreys’ planned expansion were expected to hold rallies near the installation in Pyeongtaek. About 2,000 demonstrators also were expected to rally near Camp Long in Wonju on Sunday, officials said Friday.
Under a South Korean-U.S. agreement, Camp Humphreys eventually is to expand into the largest U.S. military installation in South Korea while a number of other camps are being closed as part of the eventual consolidation of U.S. forces into two regional hubs, in the Pyeongtaek and Taegu-Busan regions.
The rallies were scheduled in the wake of violent May 4-5 clashes between protesters opposing the expansion and South Korean security forces. The clashes were in Daechu-ri, a farming village near Camp Humphreys.
South Korean police have said they’ll block all roads into Daechu-ri on Sunday. Police have denied the demonstration there a permit, unlike Saturday’s planned protest in Seoul.
On Friday, South Korea’s prime minister, Han Myung-sook, called for restraint.
“Anyone can have thoughts different from the government … but the expression of opinion should be made in a legitimate and peaceful manner and a clash should never occur again like the previous one,” the Associated Press quoted Han as saying during a nationally televised news conference Friday.
Officials of the Area III Support Activity at Camp Humphreys have imposed the following restrictions:
The town of Anjung-ri, whose bar and entertainment district is just outside the post’s front gates, is off limits Sunday.
Bus service on Sunday between Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base has been halted but shuttle buses running inside Camp Humphreys will not be affected.
Government vehicles are banned from driving off-post Sunday except for “essential” missions.
Pyeongtaek’s train station, adjacent shopping district, city hall and adjacent downtown areas are also off limits.
An off-limits restriction on travel in or between all villages bordering Camp Humphreys has been extended. The only exception is for people going to or from their homes.
Travel is banned along the northern perimeter road inside the camp, as well as walking, hiking, running or biking in the area west of Camp Humphreys to the Anjung River.
Officials also advised that Camp Long’s gates may close without notice and travel restrictions in the post’s vicinity may be imposed on short notice.