Kim Gamel

Olympic charm offensive: US on sidelines as 2 Koreas move closer together

The détente has raised hopes for reconciliation between North and South Korea, but observers say it’s likely temporary and may come at a cost to U.S.-led efforts to pressure the North Korean regime to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

US bomber deployment underscores fragility of Korean Olympic détente

The deployments send a clear signal that Washington isn’t letting down its guard despite an agreement to postpone joint U.S.-South Korean war games on the divided peninsula until after the Winter Games.

US commander apologizes for stray ammunition rounds in South Korea

A top U.S. commander has apologized to a South Korean mayor for stray ammunition rounds found outside a sprawling training complex near the tense frontier that divides the peninsula.

South Korean president gives Trump credit for historic talks with the North

South Korea’s president gave his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump credit for playing a “very big” role in bringing the two Koreas together for breakthrough talks the day before.

Top US commander in S. Korea criticizes response to security breach at major base

Gen. Vincent Brooks expressed concern after a South Korean man managed to gain unauthorized entry to Camp Humphreys three times, calling for vigilance about force protection on U.S. installations peninsula-wide.


North Korea agrees to send athletes to Winter Olympics, discuss easing heightened military tension

The breakthrough occurred during a meeting between the two Koreas in the truce village of Panmunjom after the North Korean delegation walked across the Military Demarcation Line that has divided the peninsula since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

S. Korea hopes Olympics talks with North will jumpstart broader process

President Donald Trump also said he “would love” to see the two sides discuss more than just the Olympics, adding that he would be willing to speak by phone with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korean man captured after breaching gate at Camp Humphreys

A spokesman said he didn’t immediately have information about damages, but a post on Humphreys’ Facebook page said the main gate was closed for emergency maintenance.

Wanted: DNA from vets who served in S. Korea

A U.S. nonprofit is building a DNA database to help South Korean adoptees find their birth parents, including U.S. military veterans. In many cases, troops rotating through the country didn’t know the women they had sex with became pregnant.


Exchange bakery delivers slice of America to US troops, families in S. Korea

The plant on Camp Market churns out the iconic American brand, Wonder Bread, and other bread, buns, doughnuts, tortillas and more to be delivered fresh every day to commissaries, dining facilities, restaurants and schools on U.S. bases across South Korea.

US ready for unconditional talks with North Korea, Tillerson says

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to remove a major roadblock to talks with North Korea, saying the United States was willing to meet with the nuclear-armed country “without preconditions.”

US soldier killed in S. Korea traffic accident was NCO with 2 sons

Sgt. Eric Schenck, 33, of Placerville, Calif., died Friday of injuries suffered in the accident as his convoy was returning to Suwon Air Base from a field training exercise.

North Korean threat, F-35 demand spur rise in global arms sales, report says

U.S. companies on the list increased their share of arms sales to 57.9 percent, with a combined total of $217.2 billion in 2016, boosted by military operations overseas and the acquisition of large weapon systems by other countries, according to the report.

American soldier killed in traffic accident in South Korea

The deadly chain of events began when a car rear-ended the U.S. military vehicle on an interchange, prompting the soldier to get out to examine the damage.

US aircraft moved due to weather, runway issues during war games in S. Korea

Bad weather and a temporary runway closure forced the Air Force to move U.S. fighter jets and Warthogs to a South Korean base Thursday during joint war games that have raised tensions with North Korea.

N. Korea warns war is inevitable as US, S. Korea wind down air drills

North Korea warned that war has become “an established fact” as it lashed out Thursday against U.S. bombing drills and recent tough talk by Trump administration officials.

US bomber joins advanced fighters over Korean Peninsula a week after ICBM test

A U.S. supersonic bomber flanked by state-of-the-art fighter jets flew over South Korea Wednesday in a show of force a week after the North test-fired its most powerful missile.

No plans to evacuate families off Korean Peninsula, US military says

The U.S. military has no plans to begin evacuating U.S. families from South Korea, a spokesman said Wednesday following Sen. Lindsey Graham’s suggestion that it was getting too dangerous to keep noncombatants on the divided peninsula.

Air Force: Inspection showed no problem with Raptor that was towed in S. Korea

A state-of-the-art U.S. stealth fighter jet was towed to a hangar during joint war games as a precaution, but an inspection determined nothing was wrong, the 7th Air Force said Tuesday.

Raptor has problem after landing during joint war games in South Korea

A state-of-the-art U.S. stealth fighter jet malfunctioned after landing and had to be towed to a hangar during joint war games that kicked off on Monday, officials said.

US medic says he worried North Korean defector would die before flight landed

The U.S. medic who treated a North Korean defector shot several times while fleeing across the border didn’t think the man would survive the flight to the hospital, he said Thursday.

South Korea’s Jeju Island attracts tourists with Hawaii-like scenery

Volcanic mountains, waterfalls and scenic beaches are among the many reasons Jeju Island is known as the Hawaii of South Korea.

N. Korea fires most powerful missile yet, claims US mainland now in its sights

North Korea declared Wednesday that it has achieved its long-sought goal of becoming a nuclear power after firing a powerful new missile it said could hit any point in the United States, dealing a new challenge to President Donald Trump.

North Korea may complete nuclear program by next year, senior official says

North Korea may complete its nuclear weapons program by next year despite a more than two-month lull in activity, a senior government official said Tuesday.

Officer delivers armistice violation message to N. Korea via bullhorn

A United Nations Command officer used a bullhorn to broadcast a message about armistice violations across the Demilitarized Zone to North Korea but as of Monday the communist state has not responded to a request for a meeting to discuss the allegations.

South Korean defense minister apologizes for ‘miniskirts’ remark

South Korea’s defense minister promised to keep it short as he began a speech before eating lunch with U.S. and South Korean soldiers. But the way he said it is getting all the attention.

US, S. Korean soldiers get medals for helping to rescue N. Korean defector

Six U.S. and South Korean soldiers were awarded medals Thursday for helping to rescue a North Korean defector who made a daring escape across the border that divides the peninsula.

Report: S. Korean military may ask US to suspend joint war games due to Olympics

South Korea’s military may ask the United States to suspend joint war games usually held in the spring to avoid an overlap with the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics, a news agency reported Thursday.


Dramatic video shows North Korean soldier’s dash to freedom

North Korean troops violated the 1953 armistice as they shot over the border and in one case crossed it themselves while chasing a fellow soldier who was making a dash to the South, the United Nations Command said Wednesday.

N. Korea still welcome at Olympics despite US terror designation

North Korea is still welcome to join the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea despite President Donald Trump’s decision to put it back on the U.S. terrorism blacklist, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

US, South Korea agree to increase public transparency of military affairs

The United States and South Korea agreed Tuesday to increase public transparency by promising to “disclose non-confidential information” related to the U.S. military presence on the divided peninsula.

Long-awaited PX opens at Camp Humphreys in time for holiday shopping

Confetti swirled in the air while South Korean drummers and the 8th Army band played Monday to celebrate the grand opening of Camp Humphrey’s new post exchange, the third largest in the world.

North Korea on track to deploy 1st ballistic missile sub, US think tank says

North Korea is on an “aggressive schedule” to build and deploy its first operational ballistic-missile submarine, a U.S. think tank said, citing commercial satellite imagery.

UN Command postpones plan to release footage of N. Korean defector’s dramatic escape

The United Nations Command has put off a plan to release video footage of a North Korean soldier’s dramatic escape across a jointly patrolled area in the heart of the Demilitarized Zone.


Trump visit boosts US-South Korean ties, but differences remain

President Donald Trump stayed largely on script during his two-day trip to South Korea. Experts said the gaffe-free visit last week gave a boost to frayed ties between the decades-old allies, but key differences over security and trade remain.

N. Koreans fired 40 rounds at soldier as he defected to South, officials say

A North Korean soldier defected to the South by driving a military jeep to the line that divides the peninsula, then sprinting across it under a hail of gunfire from his former comrades, officials said Tuesday.

N. Korean soldier shot as he defects to S. Korea via the DMZ

The soldier defected from his guard post in the Joint Security Area, an area in the heavily fortified frontier where the two sides face each other across the line that divides the peninsula.

S. Korean police detain US citizen in restricted zone near North Korea

South Korean police reportedly arrested a U.S. citizen Monday for allegedly entering a restricted border area without a permit in a bid to cross over to North Korea.

Yongsan to merge schools as US military population thins in Seoul

The high school and the middle school on the main U.S. base in Seoul will be merged into one next year as the relocation of most military forces to southern hubs picks up speed.


Trump calls on ‘responsible nations’ to isolate North Korea

President Donald Trump warned North Korea not to underestimate the United States while signaling a willingness to negotiate Wednesday as he wrapped up a visit to the South that put him on the communist state’s doorstep.


Trump joins US, S. Korean troops for Taco Tuesday at Camp Humphreys

U.S. troops who had lunch with President Donald Trump on Tuesday at a military base in South Korea say he told them there was no place he’d rather be.

Trump: US prepared to use ‘unmatched military capabilities’ against North Korea

President Donald Trump warned Tuesday the United States is prepared to use its “unmatched military capabilities” against North Korea as he began a visit to the South.

Trump to visit Camp Humphreys after landing in S. Korea; here’s what he’ll see

Camp Humphreys, a newly expanded Army garrison that is to become the U.S. military’s flagship installation on the divided peninsula, promises all the comforts of home for U.S. soldiers and their families

US supersonic bombers fly over Korean Peninsula ahead of Trump visit

North Korea denounced Thursday’s flyover, calling it a “surprise nuclear strike drill” and accused the United States of stoking tensions in the region.

US fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Korean Peninsula

The Navy F/A-18 fighters were deployed from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to escort the Russian planes Sunday without incident, a Pacific Fleet spokeswoman said.

North Korean threat, alliance jitters loom over Trump’s Asia visit

President Donald Trump will face fears that rising tensions with North Korea could erupt into conflict and alliance jitters when he makes his first official visit to Asia.

S. Korea won’t seek nuclear weapons, president says, rejecting opposition calls

President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that South Korea won’t seek nuclear weapons despite opposition calls to do so in the face of a growing threat from the North. But he promised a “stern response” to any provocation from the communist state.

Retired US general has new command with S. Korean defense company

Former 8th Army commander Bernard Champoux has traded his fatigues for a business suit.


US refusal to accept N. Korea as nuclear power leaves little room for talks

U.S. policy has been aimed at forcing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions. but North Korea has defiantly persisted with its efforts despite punishing economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

Mattis warns nuclear weapons threat from North Korea is accelerating

The former Marine general has stressed his preference is for diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis with North Korea, saying Friday that “our goal is not war.”


Mattis pushes for diplomacy with North Korea during DMZ visit

With North Korean soldiers watching his every move, the U.S. defense secretary pressed for diplomacy with the communist state on Friday but insisted it must stop provocations and abandon its nuclear weapons program.


2nd ID celebrates centennial with mass re-enlistment, time capsule in S. Korea

The 2nd Infantry Division looked to the future and the past Thursday as it celebrated its centennial with a mass re-enlistment ceremony for 100 soldiers and a time capsule.

THAAD now fully integrated into air defenses for South Korea

The Delta Battery was officially realigned with the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from the 11th ADA Brigade in a reflagging ceremony in THAAD’s new home in Seongju.

Presidential visits to DMZ send strong signal to North Korea

Several U.S. presidents have traveled to the 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile-long buffer zone that divides the Korean Peninsula. The tense border, fraught with danger and symbolism, provides the perfect backdrop for a show of resolve against the North.

Secret Garden lets tourists follow in the footsteps of Korea’s kings and queens

Visitors used to require permission from the king to enter the Secret Garden, a lush park behind the Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul. Now you can book a guided tour online.

Guam-based guided-missile submarine makes port call to South Korea

The Navy said the Ohio-Class guided-missile submarine was making a routine visit during a regularly scheduled deployment to the region.

US military plans semiannual evacuation drills against backdrop of North Korea tensions

U.S. Forces Korea will hold semiannual evacuation drills for families of military forces and other noncombatants later this month against the backdrop of rising tensions with North Korea.

US bombers fly over Korean Peninsula in 1st night joint training drills

Two supersonic U.S. bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula, officials said Wednesday, in a show of force amid growing tensions with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

Trump says N. Korea making ‘fools of US negotiators’ amid fears of another missile test

President Donald Trump said North Korea has been making “fools of U.S. negotiators” and “only one thing will work,” the latest hint of possible military action against the communist state.

Camp Humphreys may accept minor building flaws to speed expansion, commander says

Camp Humphreys may accept buildings with minor flaws as planners face a new urgency to complete the long-delayed expansion of the Army garrison and future home of U.S. Forces Korea, the commander says.

Trump says Tillerson 'wasting his time' attempting to negotiate with North Korea

President Donald Trump said Sunday that negotiating with North Korea is ‘wasting time,’ criticizing his secretary of state over his efforts to defuse rising tensions over the communist state’s nuclear weapons program.

Missiles and sunbathers: S. Korea’s DMZ is more tourist mecca than war zone

Tourists snapped photos with North Korean mountains in the background, apparently unaware or unconcerned that they were about 60 miles away from the launch site of a morning missile test.

US bombers buzz N. Korea to flex military muscle as war of words intensifies

Mission came four days after Trump mocked North Korea’s leader during his U.N. General Assembly address, saying “rocket man is on a suicide mission” and warning he would “totally destroy” the North if forced to defend the United States or its allies.

N. Korean leader says Trump will ‘pay dearly’ for threats, hints at weapons test

North Korea’s leader called President Donald Trump “mentally deranged” and a “dotard” on Friday, hinting at new missile tests as the war of words between the two leaders evolved into personal insults.

S. Korea to provide humanitarian aid to North for 1st time since 2015

South Korea approved a plan Thursday to provide $8 million via U.N. agencies to help North Korean children and pregnant women in a bid to separate humanitarian issues from political pressure over the communist state’s nuclear weapons program.

US Forces Korea warns of fake evacuation messages

The command stressed the evacuation order claim was false, saying “USFK did NOT issue this message” and warning recipients not to click on any links or open attachments included in them.

US bombers, jets fly near N. Korean border in show of force after missile test

U.S. supersonic bombers and stealth jets flew near the border with North Korea on Monday, officials said, in a show of force after a senior American diplomat warned the communist state it could face military action if it persists with its nuclear weapons program.


N. Korean missile test raises questions about why allies didn't try to shoot it down

U.S. and Japanese officials said they could have targeted the missile but did not make the effort because it was not aimed at land.

N. Korea hails missile test as step toward ‘equilibrium’ with US

The comments were reported Saturday, hours after the U.N. Security Council convened in an emergency session and strongly condemned the launch that occurred the day before.

N. Korean missile flew over Japan but may have been meant as message for Guam

North Korea defiantly fired a missile over Japan on Friday, achieving its longest such flight less than a week after the U.N. Security Council approved new sanctions aimed at punishing the communist state for its recent and most powerful nuclear test.

N. Korea warns US it will face the ‘greatest pain’ after new sanctions adopted

North Korea warned the United States it will face the “greatest pain” after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions to punish it for conducting a sixth nuclear test.

S. Korea rejects idea of redeploying US nuclear weapons on peninsula

South Korea said Monday that it’s not reviewing its policy on the redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons after Sen. John McCain said the idea should be “seriously considered” as a way to counter the growing threat from the North.

Camp Humphreys gives opening dates for key facilities amid growing pains

Camp Humphreys had good news and bad news for its growing population as it announced plans to open several new facilities.

USFK adds 4 launchers to THAAD as protesters clash with police

Protesters scuffled with police Thursday as the United States deployed four additional launchers to complete an advanced missile-defense system in South Korea.

S. Korea on lookout for radiation after North’s nuclear test causes landslides

South Korea said Wednesday that it’s monitoring closely for any signs of radiation after North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test, which satellite images show apparently caused numerous landslides on the mountain that provided its cover.

US military to complete THAAD deployment in S. Korea despite protests

The U.S. military will deploy additional launchers for an advanced missile-defense system Thursday in a remote area of South Korea despite local protests, the defense ministry said.