South Korean man claims bullet from Humphreys hit his house
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — A South Korean man who lives near Camp Humphreys told local police a bullet from the installation struck his house last week, police said Tuesday.
Police in Pyeongtaek said they found a hole about 4 inches in diameter in the side of the house. But they turned up no evidence it had been produced by a bullet or other projectile. The house is in Pang-sung, a section of Pyeongtaek City that includes Anjung-ri, where Camp Humphreys is located.
Police said a lab sample they took from the hole would be sent to the Korean National Institute of Scientific Investigation for analysis.
They identified the resident only as a 58-year-old man with the last name Lee.
Police said Lee told them a loud explosion shook his house Feb. 9 around 4 a.m., and he thought his boiler had burst. He later discovered the hole, he said, and believed it came from a weapon fired inside Camp Humphreys, police said.
U.S. Forces Korea said in a written statement Tuesday that South Korean police on the afternoon of Feb. 9 “conducted an investigation of a possible stray bullet from Camp Humphreys.
“Investigators found no evidence of a stray bullet or believed that any damage was caused by the U.S.,” the statement read.
“Upon completion of the investigation, the KNP closed the case due to lack of evidence.”
Meanwhile, a civic group opposed to the U.S. military’s presence in South Korea and its plans to transform Camp Humphreys into its main installation by 2008 staged demonstrations in Seoul on Tuesday to call attention to Lee’s complaint.
The Pan-Korean National Task Force Against Expansion of U.S. Bases in Pyeongtaek demonstrated outside South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense and the U.S. Embassy, calling for a careful investigation of Lee’s complaint, said Kim Yong-han, a leader of the Task Force.
Kim said his group wants anyone responsible for endangering Lee to face “punishment.”
The MND referred queries to USFK.
Last Sunday, the task force staged a peaceful protest near Camp Humphreys and in Pyeongtaek’s downtown district to renew its objections to the plans to expand Camp Humphreys.
Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.