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Korean National Police accept congratulations from Area II Commander Ron Stephens on Monday at the Army Community Services building on Yongsan Garrison.

Korean National Police accept congratulations from Area II Commander Ron Stephens on Monday at the Army Community Services building on Yongsan Garrison. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — They stand for hours outside U.S. military bases in the dead of summer, clad in riot gear, ready for violent clashes with protesters — and many of them barely have peach fuzz on their cheeks.

The Korean National Police guards who toured Yongsan Garrison on Monday are in the midst of their 2½ years of mandatory national service. When their stint is up, many will go to college — becoming classmates with those protesters.

About 100 members of the KNP toured Yongsan Garrison at the installation’s invitation Monday. A handful of policemen received certificates of appreciation for their service from Area II commander Col. Ron Stephens at the Army Community Services building, where the KNP guests watched two short films.

The first spotlighted the history of the U.S. and South Korean military alliance. And the second promoted the Pyeongtaek military expansion.

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