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Kim Gamel

Popularity of S. Korean boy band BTS fuels debate over military conscription

The group’s popularity has fueled a debate over whether the list of exemptions for conscription enjoyed by Olympic medalists and some other athletes and artists should be expanded to include K-pop sensations like BTS.

Two Koreas, United Nations Command hold talks on disarming border area

The two Koreas and the U.S.-led United Nations Command held their first meeting Tuesday to discuss disarming the heavily fortified border, as the neighboring nations press for peace despite slow progress in parallel nuclear talks.


Analysis

Rare public discord between US, S. Korea raises concern about rift

Student activists staged a protest in central Seoul on Friday, chanting “Trump needs to apologize,” and waving a banner that read “South Korea is not a U.S. colony,” according to the Korea Herald.


Top commander in Korea shows support for land mine removal in DMZ

The top U.S. commander in South Korea offered his “full support” for the inter-Korean removal of land mines from the no man’s land that bisects the peninsula.


Park dedicated to adoptees opens on former US military base in South Korea

Omma Poom, or Mother’s Arms, park, which includes several sculptures, is the first such memorial dedicated to South Korean adoptees as the nation tries to come to terms with a tragic legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.


Surprise, you're promoted! Airman gets an unexpected sendoff on his plane out of S. Korea

Tech. Sgt. Terry White, 32, of Pittsburgh, said he had no idea his promotion coming when he boarded the flight to begin his transfer to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., after four years with the 51st Maintenance Group at Osan.


ANALYSIS

Korean War: Is an official end in sight?

Nearly seven decades since the Korean War, the search for peace on the Korean Peninsula has emerged as a key issue in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang — but there are several key issues that could prevent the conflict from officially ending.


2nd ID soldier dies at Camp Humphreys; cause under investigation

Pfc. Adrienne Barillas, 22, of The Woodlands, Texas, had been assigned to the 11th Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade at the base since November 2017.


Korean military pact seeks to ease border tensions despite lack of nuclear progress

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called the military accord signed during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week “the most important” result for relations between the two countries.


United Nations Command to review inter-Korean military agreement

The U.S.-led United Nations Command will “thoroughly review” an inter-Korean military accord, an official said, after the two nations agreed to a series of sweeping measures aimed at easing tensions along the heavily fortified border that divides the peninsula.


Stars and Stripes’ Korea office moves south to Camp Humphreys

Stars and Stripes’ Korea office has moved to Camp Humphreys, the latest chapter in a history that dates to the 1950-53 war on the peninsula.


Tiny US base in South Korean capital prepares to close its gates

Surrounded by walls topped with concertina wire, the 13-acre base can be easy to miss, one of several sub-installations that belong to the larger Yongsan Garrison just a few miles away. But its history reflects the highs and lows of the U.S. presence in the South Korean capital.


North Korea agrees to dismantle nuclear complex if US also takes steps; Kim says he'll visit Seoul

Experts said the ball was in President Donald Trump’s court and it remained to be seen if South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered enough to bring Washington back to the table.


Moon, Kim express hope for progress as they begin 3rd inter-Korean summit

President Moon Jae-in enjoyed a warm reception full of pomp and circumstance Tuesday in Pyongyang as he began a high-stakes summit aimed at persuading North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to go beyond the rhetoric and dismantle his nuclear weapons program.


S. Korean president looks forward to ‘heart-to-heart talks’ during summit with Kim Jong Un

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday he expects to have “heart-to-heart talks” during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in hopes of restarting nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington and forging a lasting peace on the divided peninsula.


Gen. Robert Abrams nominated to take over as top US commander in South Korea

If confirmed, Gen. Robert Abrams would replace Gen. Vincent Brooks at the helm of some 28,500 American troops based in South Korea as well as the United Nations Command and the Combined Forces Command.


GALLERY

Seoul American alumni take trip down memory lane during Yongsan reunion

Former Seoul American High School students remembered tear gas and discos as they gathered this month for a reunion that brought together representatives of classes from 1965 to 2003 on the main U.S. military base in the South Korean capital.


US-led command approves South Korean border crossings into North Korea

The U.S.-led United Nations Command on Thursday approved planned border crossings for South Koreans and material to build a new communication building and to open a new liaison office in a North Korean border village.


S. Korean president urges Trump, Kim to make ‘bold decisions’ in nuclear impasse

South Korea’s president called on the United States and North Korea to make “bold decisions” to put nuclear negotiations back on track as the White House announced planning is underway for a second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.


Two Koreas to hold military talks on easing border tensions this week

North and South Korean military officers will discuss proposals to excavate the remains of troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War from the heavily fortified frontier, the removal of guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone on a trial basis and how to disarm the jointly patrolled area in Panmunjom.


Woodward: Trump drafted tweet on pulling military dependents from S. Korea

President Donald Trump drafted a tweet calling for the evacuation of family members of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, nearly provoking a war with the North, the author of a new book about the administration said.


US, North Korea resume talks on recovery of war dead remains

While the United States and North Korea struggle to get nuclear talks back on track, negotiators moved forward with efforts to bring home the remains of more American troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.


Embattled Trump thanks North Korean leader for praise, says 'we will get it done together'

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he and Kim Jong Un will “get it done together” after the North Korean leader reaffirmed his commitment to a nuclear-free peninsula.


UN Command blocks field survey of inter-Korean railway

The United Nations Command blocked Seoul’s plans for a joint survey of an inter-Korean railway due to a procedural error, officials said Thursday.


Trump warns he may ‘instantly’ restart war games with S. Korea

Military officials and others say the exercises with U.S. allies South Korea and Japan are crucial to maintaining readiness against a growing threat from the North.


US-N. Korea stalemate thrusts Moon back into mediator role

The U.S.-North Korean nuclear stalemate has raised the stakes for a third summit between President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un that is expected to be held next month, Moon’s office said Tuesday.


Cancellation of US-N. Korean meeting shows China spillover

In canceling the Secretary of State's visit to North Korea next week, President Trump acknowledges for the first time that nuclear negotiations have hit a roadblock two months after the Singapore summit.


Top US commander backs S. Korean plan to remove some DMZ guard posts

The top U.S. commander in South Korea expressed support Wednesday for a plan to remove some guard posts from the tense border, saying it’s a “reasonable” risk that may help denuclearization talks with the North.


Sex-abuse case involving airman, S. Korean orphans led to new Kunsan guidelines

A former U.S. senior airman has been jailed for sexually abusing two South Korean orphans and for possessing child pornography in a 2016 case that prompted new community guidelines at Kunsan Air Base.


Defense act restricts efforts to cut US troop numbers in South Korea

The $717 billion bill prevents the Pentagon from cutting the number of servicemembers deployed to South Korea below 22,000 unless the defense secretary has certified that it’s in the “national security interest” and that the secretary has “appropriately consulted” with regional allies.


US-led command hands over remains of North Korean soldier

The U.S.-led United Nations Command has returned the remains of a North Korean soldier more than a year after they were found near a border island.


Korean leaders to hold 3rd summit next month in Pyongyang

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will travel to Pyongyang next month for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, officials announced Monday, a move that could boost stalled nuclear negotiations.


Analysis

Two Koreas move closer despite deadlock over nuclear talks

The preparations come as the North stepped up its demands that the U.S. ease punishing economic sanctions and move toward declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War in return for denuclearization efforts.


Two Koreas to prepare for another summit amid stalled nuclear talks

The two Koreas have agreed to hold high-level talks Monday to prepare for another summit between their leaders, even as nuclear talks between the North and the United States have stalled.


Pair of American soldiers killed in Korean War finally being sent home for burial

The remains of Army Cpl. Terrell J. Fuller and Army Sgt. William A. Larkins — both 20 when they died — were handed over as part of joint searches and unilateral handovers from North Korea that took place more than a decade ago.


Trump praises N. Korean leader for returning remains of war dead

President Donald Trump thanked North Korea’s leader for returning the remains of war dead and hinted at another summit amid concern that the momentum for a nuclear deal has stalled.


Gallery

'A great first step': Remains of presumed US Korean War dead begin journey home

Fifty-five cases presumed to be holding the remains of U.S. troops killed in the Korean War began their journey home Wednesday after a formal send-off at Osan Air Base.


War dead remains from N. Korea ‘likely to be American,’ DPAA official says

A two-day field forensic review determined that the remains are human and “are likely to be American remains,” according to an official with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.


North Korea’s return of presumed US war dead remains is start of long process

The U.S. military plans to hold a ceremony Wednesday to honor the 55 cases of human remains handed over by North Korea last week. But it’s likely to be a long time before the identities of those inside can be verified.


American man seeks return of his civilian father’s remains from N. Korea

Just seven American civilians who served before and during the outbreak of the Korean War remain unaccounted for — compared to over 7,000 servicemembers. Still, one man hopes his efforts will help bring his long-lost father home.


North Korea dismantling key missile-testing site, images show

North Korea has taken “an important first step” toward fulfilling a promise made during its summit with the United States by starting to dismantle a key missile-testing site, a monitoring website said Monday.


Trump administration says ‘no rush’ on nuclear deal with N. Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sides have made progress on some issues, including the promised return of remains of American troops killed in the 1950-53 war, which he said was expected to happen “in the next couple of weeks.”


S. Korean military grounds helicopters after crash kills 5 marines

The South Korean military grounded dozens of new helicopters after five marines were killed in a crash during a test-flight, officials said Wednesday.


US soldiers help S. Korean accident victim during drive to Camp Humphreys

Three American medical soldiers were in the “right place at the right time” on Friday the 13th.


N. Korea may return up to 55 sets of US war dead remains next week, official says

The preliminary details emerged after U.S. and North Korean officials held working-level talks Monday in the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone.


US, N. Korean officials meet to discuss return of war dead remains

U.S. and North Korean officials met Sunday in the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss the return of the remains of American soldiers killed during the 1950-53 war.


UN Command, South Korea honor remains of 2 soldiers killed in Korean War

With a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps, the U.S.-led United Nations Command and South Korea on Friday repatriated the remains of two soldiers found decades after they were killed in the Korean War.


N. Korea skips meeting on repatriating the remains of American war dead

North Korean officials skipped planned talks on repatriating the remains of American war dead Thursday in the latest snub of a U.S. administration eager to show progress on efforts to rid the communist state of nuclear weapons.


ANALYSIS

North Korea’s angry response to Pompeo visit signals the honeymoon is over

A month after President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, recent harsh rhetoric was a signal that the honeymoon is over as the two sides appear no closer to agreement on concrete measures, a timeline or even a definition of denuclearization.


Mustache diplomacy: Retired Adm. Harry Harris has new look for new diplomatic role in S. Korea

The former leader of U.S. forces in the Pacific, who arrived in Seoul on Saturday, said he decided it was time for a change after being clean-shaven for most of his military career.


VIDEO

New US ambassador to S. Korea introduces himself, vows to maintain bond between allies

Ambassador Harry Harris introduced himself to South Koreans in a video on the embassy’s social media sites. “Folks, I’m jazzed about meeting you, experiencing more of Korea and working together to deepen the great partnership between our two countries,” he said.


ANALYSIS

Fears over North Korea’s nuclear intentions increase pressure on Trump to nail down details

Recent revelations suggesting that North Korea is pressing forward with its nuclear missile program increase pressure on the Trump administration to wrest concrete concessions and denuclearization timelines from the communist state.


video, gallery

USFK dedicates new headquarters at Camp Humphreys

The U.S. military took a major step toward ending seven decades of deployments near the border with North Korea Friday when the main command officially moved south of Seoul to an expanded Camp Humphreys.


gallery

From foxholes to high-rises: A look at the US military’s long history in South Korea

Nearly 14 years after agreeing to move American troops south of Seoul, U.S. Forces Korea will celebrate the opening of its new headquarters at Camp Humphreys on Friday, beginning a new phase in the military’s decades-old history on the divided peninsula.


Mattis defends decision to suspend war games, says US commitment to S. Korea 'remains ironclad'

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis defended the suspension of U.S.-South Korean war games as a tool to boost nuclear talks with the North, but he said Thursday that Washington has no plans to reduce the number of troops on the divided peninsula.


N. Korea improves nuclear complex amid negotiations, report says

The report by 38 North, a website devoted to analysis of North Korea, which was posted Tuesday, stressed that the ongoing efforts at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center “should not be seen as having any relationship” to North Korea’s denuclearization pledge.


Summit vow raises hopes for families of Americans missing from Korean War

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed during their June 12 summit in Singapore to “recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.” Families of missing servicemembers said it's an important step.


South Korea also searching for troops missing from 1950-53 war

While attention is focused on North Korea’s promise to return the remains of American troops believed lost in the 1950-53 war, South Korea is quietly engaged in an ongoing effort to locate war dead on its side of the border.


US sends coffins to border with N. Korea to prepare for return of war dead remains

The U.S. military sent 100 wooden coffins to the truce village on the border with North Korea on Saturday as it steps up preparations for the return of the remains of American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 war, according to the U.N. command.


US widens suspension of military drills in S. Korea, says cancellations are 'indefinite'

The Pentagon said Friday that the suspension would include two joint Marine training exercises that had been “scheduled to occur in the next three months.” The military previously announced it was halting all plans for a massive command post exercise known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian, which had been due to begin in August.


2 Koreas agree to resume reunions of families split by war

The reunions of 100 families from each side will take place at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort from Aug. 20 to 26, the two sides said after a daylong meeting between Red Cross officials.


Army takes step toward closing Camp Red Cloud with inactivation ceremony

Soldiers stood in formation as the garrison’s colors were cased Thursday in a ceremony officials said marked an important step toward closing this Korean War-era base and reducing the U.S. footprint north of Seoul.


S. Korea steps up pressure on North to take ‘concrete action’ toward denuclearization

South Korea’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday that the suspension of war games with the United States is “not irreversible” as she urged the North to take concrete action toward abandoning its nuclear weapons program.


UN Command planning for N. Koreans to turn over remains of US war dead

The U.N. Command in South Korea is planning for the North Koreans to turn over the remains of U.S. troops who died in the 1950-53 war, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.


US follows through on promise to cancel ‘war games’ with S. Korea

The United States followed through on its promise to North Korea, announcing Tuesday that it was canceling war games with South Korea that had been slated for August and was expecting concrete steps toward denuclearization in return.


S. Korea kicks off naval drills rehearsing defense of islets disputed by Japan

Despite protests from Tokyo, South Korea kicked off naval drills Monday aimed at practicing for a theoretical fight with Japan over a disputed cluster of islets that sit in the sea between the countries.


ANALYSIS

Impact of halting US-S. Korean war games will depend on scope

U.S. and South Korean commanders have long stressed the need for joint military exercises to ensure readiness to “fight tonight” and deter the threat from the North. But the idea of using the annual drills as a bargaining chip in nuclear negotiations with North Korea is nothing new.


Secretary of state clarifies stance as Trump says North Korean nuclear threat has ended

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out an ambitious timeline for the North’s denuclearization, saying the administration wants the communist state to take major steps toward nuclear disarmament in the next two and a half years.


American teenager killed in Yongsan crash was a high school sophomore

Christie Gagnet died Saturday after the car in which she was riding collided with a motorcycle outside Gate 13, which is the main visitors’ entrance at the sprawling U.S. military base in Seoul. She was 15.


N. Korea claims concessions after summit with US

North Korea and the United States celebrated their historic summit on Wednesday despite criticism that President Donald Trump gave up too much, too soon, including war games with South Korea.


US suspends military drills with South Korea in surprise overture to North

The stunning announcement reverses decades of U.S. military posture in the region, with joint exercises at the heart of readiness against North Korea’s artillery and more than a million soldiers poised across the border.


Trump, Kim commit to recovering Korean War remains

Remains of an estimated 5,300 missing American servicemembers are in North Korea and potentially recoverable. Efforts to find them stalled as tensions rose over the North’s nuclear weapons program.


N. Korean leader says ‘world will see a major change’ after historic talks with Trump

Donald Trump didn’t give details about what was signed but described it as a “pretty comprehensive document” and said the meeting had gone “far better than anybody had predicted.”


White House optimistic, says talks with North Korea 'have moved more quickly than expected'

On the eve of his high-stakes summit with North Korea, officials from both sides worked until the last minute to try to hammer out a nuclear agreement. The White House declared talks “have moved more quickly than expected.”


ANALYSIS

What’s next for US troops in S. Korea? A look at possible scenarios

U.S. troops may not be on the table during Tuesday’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but they are looming in the background.


Trump optimistic on eve of historic summit with North Korea

On the eve of his high-stakes summit with North Korea, President Donald Trump expressed optimism Monday as officials from both sides worked until the last minute to try to hammer out a nuclear agreement.