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Kim Gamel

US Forces Korea places Itaewon off-limits for Halloween amid coronavirus concerns

The garrison commander for Camp Humphreys said Itaewon will be off-limits to all personnel and civilians affiliated with USFK from 3 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday.

US Forces Korea orders troops to get flu shots by Dec. 1, says vaccine is safe

USFK said the vaccine administered to the military community has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has resulted in “zero reports of serious adverse effects or reactions.”


Thirteen more US troops test positive for coronavirus after arriving in South Korea

Most of the U.S. military cases in South Korea have been imported from the United States; only 26 of the 251 cases were transmitted locally.


Biden calls North Korean leader a ‘thug’ but says he’d meet Kim if denuclearization is agreed

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump squared off over how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program during the final debate before the election.


ANALYSIS

North Korea poised to test next US president with growing nuclear missile threat

No matter who wins the presidential election, the new administration will face a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, which recently rolled out a huge new intercontinental ballistic missile that may be able to target the U.S.


South Korea-based soldier dies while in Georgia for routine training

A South Korea-based American soldier died after being found unresponsive in the water off a beach in Georgia where he was participating in routine aviation training, the military said Wednesday.


Four Americans test positive for coronavirus as military eases restrictions in South Korea

The latest patients arrived from the United States at Osan Air Base on government-chartered flights on Oct. 5 and Oct. 17.


Public tours to Korean border truce village will resume next month

The South Korean government said it will begin with small-scale tours because of the continued threat from African swine fever and the coronavirus.


‘No exceptions’: USFK commander enters quarantine after returning to South Korea from US

USFK also announced it has lowered the military’s health protection risk level nationwide to Bravo, signifying a lower, moderate risk for infection, as South Korea’s daily number of cases dipped below 50.


Army rotational brigade begins arriving in South Korea despite coronavirus

The Fort Stewart, Ga.-based 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, is the ninth rotational brigade to serve with U.S. Forces Korea since the system began in 2015.


Twenty-two US troops test positive for coronavirus after flying to South Korea from States

Nearly two dozen American troops tested positive for the coronavirus after flying to South Korea from the U.S., the military said.


Analysis

North Korea flexes its muscles with new ICBM ahead of US election

Kim Jong Un vowed to continue efforts to build up his country’s arsenal while insisting it was for defense and not targeting any specific country.


US Forces Korea reports first local coronavirus transmissions in six months

Two positive coronavirus cases reported Thursday were the first to be contracted locally in South Korea in six months, the military said.


US military hasn’t used $60 million in South Korean defense funds, data show

Info on unspent defense funds raises the stakes as talks over a cost-sharing contract have deadlocked due to U.S. demands that Seoul sharply increase its contribution for stationing American troops on the divided peninsula.


New Eighth Army commander seeks ‘rigorous, realistic’ training for US, South Korea troops

Lt. Gen. Willard “Bill” Burleson III assumed command of the Eighth Army on Friday amid fears of renewed tensions as U.S.-led nuclear talks with North Korea have stalled.


Tours to truce village on border with North Korea may resume soon

Authorities began limiting civilian access to the JSA and other points in the 155-mile long, 2.5-mile wide DMZ in September 2019.


ANALYSIS

Despite rare apology, tensions rise over North Korean killing of man at sea

Kim Jong Un's rare apology was seen as an attempt to prevent the shooting from boiling over into conflict as his regime struggles with economic woes caused by U.S.-led sanctions over his banned nuclear program as well as the coronavirus pandemic.


North Korean leader apologizes for killing of South Korean official, Seoul says

The rare apology was a major step toward defusing tensions after the South said that North Korean troops had shot to death and burned the body of a fisheries inspector who had gone missing from a patrol boat on Monday.


North Koreans kill South Korean fisheries official near border island, military says

The killing threatened to stoke tensions between the rival nations, which have seen efforts to improve relations evaporate in connection with stalled U.S.-led talks aimed at persuading the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program.


DODEA schools to open in South Korea as military eases coronavirus restrictions

A decision to lower the health protection condition allows troops, family members and civilian employees in South Korea to eat out at restaurants and conduct other recreational activities off-base.


US Forces Korea to release coronavirus patients after 21 days despite test results

U.S. Forces Korea will release asymptomatic coronavirus patients after three weeks in isolation even if they continue to test positive, officials said Tuesday, citing research showing people are no longer contagious after 20 days.


South Korea will close cemeteries to many visitors to curb coronavirus during major holiday

A holiday in South Korea that traditionally includes honoring ancestors will see changes because of the coronavirus pandemic.


South Korean driver was drunk, speeding before fatal crash with US vehicle, police say

The Aug. 30 crash occurred on a bridge as two American soldiers in the military vehicle were headed home after a training at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex. The soldiers were not seriously injured; all four people in the SUV died.


South Korea dials down coronavirus restrictions as numbers decline

Health authorities said Sunday that the effort, dubbed social distancing level 2.5, has succeeded in driving down the number of infections enough to lift the extra restrictions.


US air crews must do live-fire training outside South Korea due to local complaints, Abrams says

The U.S. military has had to send air crews off the peninsula for live-fire training due to local disputes with South Koreans over noise and other complaints, Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said Thursday.


Number of US military personnel testing positive for coronavirus in South Korea rises to 180

USFK has reported only 25 confirmed cases among people living in South Korea, including two soldiers. The rest have been travelers flying to the divided peninsula for new assignments or returning from trips abroad.


Face masks with valves are now off limits for soldiers in South Korea

Research published last week in the scientific journal Physics of Fluids included dramatic visualizations showing that vented masks and face shields allow large plumes of particles to escape.


South Korea’s daily coronavirus count dips below 200; USFK reports seven more cases

The U.S. military said seven more service members tested positive for the virus after flying to South Korea from the U.S.


North Korea plans military parade despite coronavirus concerns, think tank says

Two images taken 30 minutes apart on Monday show hundreds of vehicles parked in lots adjacent to the parade grounds and thousands of troops in formations, according to 38 North, a website that monitors activity in the North.


Crash involving US armored vehicle kills four South Koreans, prompts military to suspend training near northern range

An armored personnel carrier and an SUV carrying the South Korean civilians collided on a road near the Rodriguez Live-Fire Training Complex in the city of Pocheon, north of Seoul, according to local fire officials.


Confusion and delays plagued response to deadly rollover accident in South Korea

The 1st Cavalry Division has moved to oust three junior leaders and ordered reforms to its driver’s training program after a 20-year-old infantryman was killed last year in a rollover accident involving a Bradley fighter vehicle at Camp Humphreys, the soldier’s mother said Saturday.


South Korea extends coronavirus prevention measures as 371 more cases are reported

South Korea extended prevention measures aimed at slowing a new coronavirus outbreak for another week, while Seoul city officials tightened restrictions on restaurants as the number of new cases over the past two weeks rose to 4,307.


South Korean army’s chief of staff nominated to serve as new defense minister

President Moon Jae-in cited Gen. Suh Wook's expertise in U.S.-South Korean military relations in the nomination.


South Korea’s daily coronavirus count soars to 441, raising possibility of lockdown

South Korea's government has warned it may need to implement the strictest level of prevention measures if the caseload continues to climb.


US Forces Korea launches diversity webpage to help fight racism

The new webpage, which is linked to the main command site, provides a form for reporting abuses to USFK with just one click, as well as educational tools and other resources.


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sounds alarm about coronavirus, typhoon

Kim Jong Un outlined “some shortcomings” in efforts to fight the coronavirus, according to North Korea's state-run news agency.


South Korea warns lockdown may be necessary amid coronavirus resurgence; six more troops test positive

The U.S. military has reimposed coronavirus restrictions, including limiting access to bases and barring personnel from most recreational activities off-post as the virus has resurged in South Korea after months of relatively low numbers.


US soldiers need coronavirus test but not quarantine before travel to South Korea amid new outbreak

The announcement came as South Korea battled a new outbreak, with 397 new confirmed cases reported on Sunday, the largest number in 10 days of triple digit daily increases.


South Korea suffers seventh day of triple digit coronavirus increases; USFK reports three more cases

Two American troops and a civilian defense contractor recently tested positive after traveling to the divided peninsula from the U.S., officials said.


‘It’s a lot more strict here': US troops in South Korea adjust to new round of coronavirus restrictions

Hopes of exploring their surroundings were quashed for service members and their families when U.S. Forces Korea re-imposed travel restrictions following a fresh outbreak of coronavirus in South Korea.


Restrictions are back across South Korea as coronavirus cases rise

The reversal came Sunday as South Korea’s number of confirmed cases reached triple digits for the third day in a row.


US, South Korea to begin joint training this week despite coronavirus concerns

The drills, a linchpin of the alliance between the two nations, already have been cut back since 2018 as part of U.S. efforts to facilitate nuclear talks with North Korea.


USFK puts Seoul area back off-limits as coronavirus cases surge in South Korea

South Korea reported 166 new cases as of midnight Friday, a five-month high, with most of the transmissions in Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi province.


US Forces Korea reports five more coronavirus cases as it eases restrictions

U.S. Forces Korea took a step toward normalcy on Monday, easing coronavirus restrictions and allowing people to go to Seoul for the first time in months.


Army to require coronavirus tests, self-quarantine before overseas travel starting Aug. 21

The new requirements, which apply to personnel traveling on military and commercial flights, may mean that soldiers have to undergo two periods of quarantine if one is also required upon arrival.


Seoul’s 'Central Park' a step closer to reality with opening of Black Hawk Village

South Korea has gained control of a sliver of land on the southeastern tip of the Army’s Yongsan Garrison, nearly two decades after the allies set in motion a plan to relocate the bulk of American troops south of Seoul.


US military coronavirus toll rises in South Korea but overall cases low

Six more Americans affiliated with the military tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling to South Korea, the military said Thursday, raising its total number of confirmed cases to 139.


South Korean support for alliance with US still strong despite cost-sharing row, poll finds

Some 90% of South Korean respondents said they still support the alliance with the United States, which was forged in the 1950-53 Korean War, compared with 92% last year, according to a poll released Monday.


Can you catch the coronavirus on a plane? It’s complicated

The influx of American troops testing positive for the coronavirus after flying to overseas U.S. bases highlights the dangers of air travel during the pandemic.


Two DODEA employees, one service member test positive for coronavirus in South Korea

The confirmed cases raised the total number of USFK-affiliated personnel to have contracted coronavirus since late February to 126.


Deadline looms for DODEA parents to choose between virtual or in-person school

Students in South Korea will each get plastic shields, but buses and classrooms will likely be near pre-coronavirus capacity, officials said Wednesday, outlining new details on the eve of a deadline for parents to choose virtual or in-person school for their children.


Citing mask discomfort, US ambassador to South Korea shaves off controversial mustache

The U.S. ambassador to South Korea has shaved his controversial mustache, saying it made wearing a mask to prevent spreading the coronavirus more uncomfortable in the summer heat.


Armistice anniversary: North Korean leader hands out pistols while UNC reaffirms commitment to peace

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un handed out commemorative pistols, while the U.S.-led United Nations Command reaffirmed its commitment to seeking a “lasting peace” on the Korean Peninsula as the rival nations marked the 67th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.


Number of coronavirus cases linked to US Forces Korea soars to 111 with new arrivals

Eighty-seven service members and dependents have tested positive after traveling to South Korea for new assignments or returning after trips abroad.


Abrams defends coronavirus measures as more troops test positive after arriving in South Korea from US

Gen. Robert Abrams called his command's anti-coronavirus measures “more stringent than just about any other country in the world,” as 10 more people affiliated with the military tested positive after traveling to South Korea from the U.S.


South Korea plays down report that White House is weighing troop cuts

South Korea on Sunday played down a report that the White House is weighing options to reduce the U.S. military presence on peninsula, saying the allies have not discussed the issue.


Number of coronavirus-infected US troops arriving in South Korea mounts

South Korea has expressed concern over the growing numbers, although U.S. Forces Korea insists that mandatory testing and two-week quarantine procedures have helped contain the problem.


US Forces Korea: 11 more troops from US test positive for coronavirus

Eleven more American service members tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in South Korea from the United States, the military said Monday.


‘He’s still out there’: Search for missing US airman continues in South Korea

Staff Sgt. Tristin Blake Jarvis, 26, of the 51st Force Support Squadron, was last seen in the vicinity of the Osan Fitness Center on July 8.


South Korean war hero Gen. Paik Sun-yup dies at 99

He continued to enjoy close relations with the U.S. military, which named him an honorary Eighth Army commander in 2013.


US military searching for missing Osan airman in South Korea

Staff Sgt. Tristin Blake Jarvis was last seen in the vicinity of the Osan Air Base Fitness Center on Wednesday afternoon and was reported absent from his unit as of Thursday.


Camp Humphreys places eight South Korean realty companies off-limits over security issues

The U.S. military’s largest base in South Korea has banned business with eight local real estate companies for 10 years over allegations of using fraudulent passes to access the installation.


Seven US troops test positive for coronavirus after arriving in South Korea

Seven U.S. service members tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling from the United States to South Korea in recent weeks, the military said Wednesday, raising its total number of cases to 54.


North Korea says no to more nuclear talks as US envoy travels to Seoul

North Korea insisted Tuesday that it has “no intention” of resuming dialogue with the U.S.


US troops accused of wreaking havoc at July Fourth beach party in South Korea

The U.S. military expressed regret for “disruptive behavior” after American troops allegedly caused a ruckus with a Fourth of July party in Busan.


South Korea marks 70th anniversary of first US ground battle in Korean War

More than 150 Americans were killed or went missing in the fighting on July 5, 1950, known as the Battle of Osan. But the unit accomplished its mission to help delay the North Korean advance while U.S. reinforcements arrived.


Five USFK personnel test positive for coronavirus after traveling to South Korea from abroad

The five cases reported Saturday have been placed in isolation units in a specially outfitted barracks on Camp Humphreys, according to U.S. Forces Korea.


US military helicopter forced to make 'precautionary landing' at park on base in South Korea

A U.S. military helicopter was forced to make a “precautionary landing” shortly after takeoff from Yongsan Garrison, U.S. Forces Korea said.


Two US troops with coronavirus mistakenly released early from quarantine in South Korea

Two newly assigned U.S. service members who tested positive for coronavirus after arriving at Osan Air Base were prematurely released from quarantine due to an administrative error, the military said.


Osan Air Base confirms coronavirus cases but says health alert level unchanged

The 51st Fighter Wing would not provide the number of people infected or give more details, citing operational security, but said the health alert level for the base was not being raised from HPCON Bravo.


Another US service member tests positive for coronavirus after arriving in South Korea

The announcement raised to 40 the total number of confirmed cases affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea. This includes 13 troops traveling from abroad for new assignments on the Korean peninsula.


US Forces Korea reports three more coronavirus cases from US arrivals

The announcement raised to 39 the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea since late February.


US Forces Korea commander debuts ‘pinks and greens’-inspired uniform at Korean War ceremony

“I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity for it to make its debut and here it is,” Gen. Robert Abrams said Thursday of the new Army uniforms.


US, South Korea urge North to denuclearize on 70th anniversary of war’s start

Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea honored the sacrifices of those who died during the Korean War at a ceremony Thursday at his headquarters on Camp Humphreys.


North Korea suspends military action plans against Seoul in move to de-escalate tensions

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un suspended military action plans against the South, state-run media reported, a week after the army threatened to redeploy forces to demilitarized border areas.


KOREAN WAR AT 70

It may be called the 'Forgotten War,' but the Korean conflict set the stage for decades of tensions

The Korean War is often called the “Forgotten War” in the U.S. because the stalemated conflict was overshadowed between World War II and Vietnam, but its legacy looms large over the divided peninsula. In a special report, Stars and Stripes marks the 70th anniversary of the conflict, which began on June 25, 1950.