Camp Humphreys closes major access gate after incident with car

By KIM GAMEL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 25, 2018

SEOUL, South Korea — Camp Humphreys, the main U.S. military base in South Korea, closed one of its main access gates this weekend after an incident with a car.

The incident happened about 2 p.m. Saturday and did not involve a gate runner, said garrison spokesman Steven Hoover. He declined to provide more details pending the ongoing investigation.

A photo posted on Facebook showed a four-door car that appeared to have smashed into a raised barrier at the Dongchang-ri gate on Saturday, with the concertina wire and concrete walls that surround the garrison in the background.

The gate was closed for the rest of the weekend, although the garrison said it would reopen at 10 p.m. Sunday.

The nearby Anjeung-ri gate, which is normally closed on weekends, was opened to facilitate traffic and would resume normal hours once Donghchang-ri reopened, according to the announcement.

It was at least the third gate-related incident this year at Humphreys, which has undergone a major expansion in recent years as part of a frequently delayed plan to relocate most U.S. forces south of Seoul.

In April, a car going the wrong way through another gate prompted a lockdown of the garrison, but authorities said it turned out to be a misunderstanding involving a driver who went the wrong way by accident.

A South Korean man who drove through a gate without authorization was arrested in January.

The population at Humphreys, a sprawling base in the rural area of Pyeongtaek about 40 miles south of Seoul, has mushroomed to nearly 30,000 after the three main military commands – U.S. Forces Korea, Eighth Army and 2nd Infantry Division – moved their headquarters there, along with families and civilian employees.

Some 28,500 U.S. servicemembers are stationed in South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North after their 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

Stars and Stripes reporter Marcus Fichtl contributed to this report.

Twitter: @kimgamel

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