Travel restrictions lifted at Osan Air Base
December 11, 2007
The death of a South Korean marine and the injury of another after being struck by a civilian jeep prompted the weekend base restriction of airmen at Osan Air Base.
Col. Jon Norman, 51st Fighter Wing commander at Osan, prohibited off-base travel from 7 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday. During that time, officials waited to learn more about the accident and whether it posed a threat for 51st Fighter Wing personnel, said spokesman Lt. John Ross.
“We didn’t know, so we were allowing time to get further information through the KNP (Korean National Police),” he said.
“We took safety measures to be sure.”
After striking the marines around 6 p.m., the jeep’s driver fatally stabbed one of them and stole their weapons, according to a Defense Ministry official.
Pfc. Park Young-chul died at Ganghwa Hospital from stab wounds his attacker inflicted after hitting him with the vehicle. Sgt. Lee Jae-hyuck was seriously injured.
The Associated Press reported that the suspect’s vehicle was found late Thursday gutted by fire at a farm in Hwaseong, south of Seoul.
According to the U.S. Forces Korea Web site, the travel restrictions at Osan restricted off-base travel, including to the nearby Songtan Entertainment District, unless it was for official business. Travel to and from private residences for duty was allowed.
A U.S. Forces Korea spokesman told Stars and Stripes on Friday that the command had not changed its force-protection status.