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Kim Gamel

Hairy situation: US ambassador to South Korea faces criticism over his mustache

Some South Koreans associate Ambassador Harry Harris’ mustache with Japanese colonial rule of the peninsula.

US ambassador warns time is running out for defense cost-sharing deal with South Korea

The issue of defense cost-sharing has taken on urgency as the current contract expired at the end of the year, leaving the U.S. military operating with residual funds from the South Koreans.


US, South Korea resume defense cost-sharing talks after end-of-year deadline expired

U.S. and South Korea resumed defense cost-sharing talks this week after the State Department signaled it was lowering its demand in a bid to reach a retroactive agreement after the current contract expired at the end of the year.


2020 VISION

New decade brings new tensions after collapse of US-North Korea nuclear talks

The previous decade ended with real fears that North Korea might test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile, dashing hopes for peace and provoking a new cycle of “fire and fury.” That didn’t happen.


Alabama couple struggles to retrieve adult son’s body from South Korean hospital

After the death of Gregory Allen, a civilian employee at the Child Development Center on the Army’s Yongsan Garrison, his parents were locked in a web of bureaucracy.


South Korea reportedly moves Patriot missile defense battery to Seoul

South Korea has moved a Patriot anti-missile battery to the center of Seoul in a bid to beef up its defense against the growing threat from the North, a local news agency reported Tuesday.


US military retiree banned from bases in South Korea due to black-market allegations

The man's ban came nearly four months after U.S. Forces Korea, the main command on the peninsula, lifted monthly commissary purchase limits and eased other shopping restrictions intended to prevent such infractions.


US urges restraint from North Korea but says military is ready if needed

“We think the best path forward, with regard to North Korea, is a political agreement that denuclearizes the peninsula,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday.


US should respond to North Korean threat by resuming full-scale military drills with Seoul, Bolton says

Former national security adviser John Bolton raised concerns that the suspension of major joint drills may have affected the readiness of American troops stationed on the divided peninsula.


North Korean leader calls for ‘offensive’ countermeasures as US misses New Year’s deadline

The stage was set for an increase in tensions as the U.S. missed North Korea’s end-of-year deadline to break the deadlock in nuclear talks on Tuesday amid fears the communist state plans to resume long-range missile tests.


Army mortuary affairs specialist found dead at Camp Humphreys in South Korea

Staff Sgt. Deontae D. Allen, 27, of Kansas City, Mo., was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene on Camp Humphreys by emergency medical personnel on Sunday, according to a press release.


Most South Koreans support alliance with US but not sharp increase in cost-sharing, poll shows

The United States and South Korea began a fourth round of defense cost-sharing talks on Tuesday, two weeks before the current contract is due to expire.


Final decision: US military permanently ends curfew for troops in South Korea

Gen. Robert Abrams permanently ended the hugely unpopular 1-to-5 a.m. curfew for U.S. service members in South Korea on Tuesday after a six-month suspension proved successful.


North Korea conducts another test at long-range rocket site despite US warnings

North Korea conducted the second test in a week at a long-range rocket site, state-run media said Saturday, despite U.S. warnings that such activity threatens to close the door on nuclear talks.


Five years after his death, Korean War vet awarded more than $720,000 in accrued benefits from VA

Thomas Nielson joined the Air Force when he was 17 and was promptly deployed to fight in South Korea, but his real battle began after he returned home and filed for military medical benefits.


US begins process of returning Yongsan Garrison to South Korea, but closure not imminent

The United States formally returned four small military bases to South Korea and began the process Wednesday for returning Yongsan Garrison in Seoul as it faces pressure to speed a long-delayed transition plan.


North Korea calls Trump ‘heedless and erratic old man' as tensions rise

Officials issued back-to-back statements in response to a pair of tweets in which President Donald Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un against resuming hostilities amid fears that the communist state may be preparing to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.


North Korea announces 'very important test' at rocket launch site in ominous sign for 2020

The statements were the latest sign that hopes for diplomacy are unraveling ahead of a year-end deadline set by North Korea for Washington to offer concessions to restart stalled nuclear talks.


North Korea lashes out at Trump’s threat of military force

The U.S. and North Korea have ratcheted up their rhetoric as nuclear talks remain stalled ahead of an end-of-year deadline imposed by the North for Washington to offer concessions such as sanctions relief and security guarantees.


North Korea fires two rockets into eastern sea, Seoul says

North Korea fired two rockets presumed to be from a multiple launching system, Seoul said Thursday, in a fiery Thanksgiving message to the United States as tensions rise over stalled nuclear talks.


Seoul strongly protests North Korean artillery drill as relations unravel

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that a live-fire artillery drill conducted by North Korea on Saturday violated a military pact signed by the two countries last year in a bid to ease tensions.


North Korean leader orders artillery drill near disputed sea border with South Korea

Images of Kim Jong Un surrounded by soldiers and examining a strategic map on a camouflaged observation post came amid rising tensions on the divided peninsula as nuclear talks with the United States show no public signs of revival.


Analysis

Good news, bad news for US as alliance with South Korea teeters

The longtime allies still face a rare public dispute over defense cost-sharing and growing fears of a return to tensions with the North amid stalled talks aimed at persuading it to abandon its nuclear weapons.


North Korea says US decision to 'postpone' joint military exercises is not good enough

The comments posted on the state-run news agency were the latest to suggest North Korea is hardening its position ahead of a year-end deadline set by leader Kim Jong Un for Washington to soften its stance.


US and South Korea cut short defense cost-sharing talks

The U.S. cut short contentious defense cost-sharing negotiations with South Korea on Tuesday in a rare public display of discord that has raised concerns about the future of the long-standing alliance.


US, South Korea postpone planned air drills in ‘goodwill gesture’ to North

The move came after North Korea issued statements lashing out at the upcoming joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise and warning that it’s running out of patience with diplomacy.


South Korea should pay more for US troops by year’s end, Esper says

The Secretary of Defense also called on Seoul to reverse its decision to cancel a military intelligence sharing pact with Japan before the Nov. 23 expiration date.


North Korea raises stakes after Esper says US may ‘adjust’ military exercises

The United States may adjust military exercises in South Korea for the sake of diplomacy with the North, the defense secretary said, as the communist state warned that it’s running out of patience for the U.S. to soften its denuclearization demands.


Esper heads to South Korea for talks on intel-sharing pact, defense costs

Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s agenda is likely to be topped by South Korea’s decision to terminate a U.S.-backed military intelligence sharing pact with Japan, which expires at midnight on Nov. 22.


USFK commander weighs in on dispute over intel-sharing pact between Japan, South Korea

The U.S. administration, which considers the pact vital to trilateral cooperation against threats from North Korea and China, has been pressing Seoul to change its mind ahead of the Nov. 23 expiration date.


US soldier dies, two others injured when armored vehicle overturns during training in South Korea

Spc. Nicholas C. Panipinto, 20, died on Wednesday from injuries sustained in the rollover at Camp Humphreys.


Soldier deaths in South Korea put spotlight on US military suicide crisis

At least eight 2nd Infantry Division soldiers died by suicide in nearly three years, from May 2016 to April 2019. The number is not necessarily indicative of a trend, but it provides a grim snapshot of an unprecedented crisis in the military that has grown despite a concerted push to stop it.


North Korea, angry about air drills, warns dialogue with US is ‘on the verge of extinction’

The communist state hates all joint military exercises conducted by Seoul and Washington on the peninsula because it considers them rehearsals for an invasion.


US, South Korea will stage ‘combined flying training event’ to replace Vigilant Ace

The allies canceled Vigilant Ace and several other joint drills last year to facilitate nuclear talks with North Korea, which considers them a rehearsal for an invasion.


North Korea test-fires two missiles after warning it's losing patience with the US

Misawa Air Base, 700 miles north of Tokyo on the northern tip of the island of Honshu, issued a “real world missile alert” on its Facebook page, followed by an "all clear" within minutes.


North Korea warns it’s running out of patience amid stalled nuclear talks with US

The communist state has stepped up its rhetoric accusing Washington of maintaining a hostile policy despite President Donald Trump’s insistence that he maintains a good relationship with Kim.


So far, 41 US troops have been ID’d from remains returned by North Korea, DPAA says

Army Cpl. Lloyd B. Odom, 19, of Odessa, Mo., was the third missing soldier whose identity was announced this week.


North Korea reaffirms ‘special’ relationship with Trump, urges US to act 'wisely'

North Korea urged the United States to act “wisely” to revive nuclear talks by the end of the year, saying Thursday that Kim Jong Un maintains a “special” relationship with President Donald Trump.


South Korea has new lead negotiator in defense cost-sharing talks with US

The allies held the first round of talks last month as the current contract, known as the Special Measures Agreement, is due to expire on Dec. 31.


Army investigating death of 2nd ID artilleryman in South Korea

Staff Sgt. Nicholas M. Scalzo, 28, an artilleryman from Selma, Ore., was found unresponsive in his barracks in South Korea.


South Korea scrambles fighter jets in latest encounter with Russian military planes

An A-50 early warning aircraft, three SU-27 fighter jets and two TU-95 bombers from Russia entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone several times, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.


North Korea confirms it successfully test-fired new submarine-launched ballistic missile

The launch threatened to raise tensions as Washington and Pyongyang planned to resume talks over the North’s nuclear weapons program this weekend. No location has been announced.


South Korea suspends tours of border truce village to prevent spread of African swine fever

South Korea has suspended tours of the border truce village of Panmunjom and the recently opened hiking trails in the area as part of measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever, officials said Wednesday.


North Korea says it will resume nuclear talks with the US this weekend

North Korea and the United States will resume nuclear negotiations this weekend, Pyongyang said Tuesday, a move that would break a seven-month long diplomatic deadlock.


US, South Korea seek ‘dynamic and new negotiating environment’ in cost-sharing talks, Seoul says

U.S. demands that Seoul pay more for stationing some 28,500 American troops on the divided peninsula have raised pressure on the longtime alliance as the two sides are trying to get nuclear talks with North Korea back on track.


US, South Korea set to resume defense cost-sharing talks

The United States and South Korea prepared to resume negotiations Tuesday on footing the bill for some 28,500 American troops stationed on the peninsula, just over three months before the current agreement is set to expire.


US military helicopter drops container unit on building in South Korea

Local police and fire department officials said nobody was injured in the incident, which occurred at about 2 p.m. in Yongin, just south of Seoul. Officials also said the container apparently contained fuel pump equipment.


Typhoon damage at DMZ truce village brings North Koreans, UN Command together

Storm damage at the Joint Security Area was relatively minor but had a diplomatic side effect, bringing together the North Koreans and members of the U.S.-led United Nations Command for repairs.


video

After a long wait, US military dedicates new $275 million hospital at Camp Humphreys

The U.S. military broke ground for the Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital in November 2012 — but construction problems and quality control issues filled the years that followed, as the South Korean contractor struggled to meet rigid U.S. standards.


Pressured to speed returns, the US military says South Korea can have 15 bases now

The plan to move most American forces from bases in Seoul and near the border with North Korea stems from agreements reached in the early 2000s, but it was frequently delayed due to construction problems and quality-control issues.


US military extends South Korea curfew suspension for three months

In one exception, however, the curfew has been slapped back on the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, also known as the “Greywolf Brigade,” which began a nine-month rotation in South Korea in early June.


Some shopping restrictions lifted at US military stores in South Korea

Before a new policy, commissary shoppers in South Korea were limited to $800 in commissary spending per month for the main sponsor and $300 for additional family members per month.


North Korea says it tested another ‘super-large’ rocket launcher

Tuesday's weapons launch was North Korea’s 10th since early May as experts say it is seeking to boost its negotiating power ahead of possible new nuclear talks with the United States.


‘This reversed the Korean War virtually overnight’: The Incheon landing’s victorious, bloody legacy 69 years later

The high-stakes Incheon landing marked a crucial turning point early in the Korean War which, absent a formal peace treaty, is technically still underway. Some military commanders argued it was too risky, but Gen. Douglas MacArthur insisted the riskiness only boosted the element of surprise.


North Korea punctuates offer for talks by firing short-range projectiles

The latest launch — the 10th since May — raised pressure on President Donald Trump, who is eager for talks to resume and so far has downplayed the surge in weapons testing as routine.


North Korea offers to restart nuclear talks with US later this month

Talks have been stalled since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to reach an agreement during their second summit in February in Vietnam.


Yongsan Garrison closes gates as winds from Typhoon Lingling knock out power

Strong winds knocked out power on Yongsan Garrison on Saturday, forcing the Army post to lock down for the night as Typhoon Lingling tore through South Korea.


South Korea says ‘ball is now in Japan’s court’ in row over intel-sharing pact

South Korea has offered to reconsider its exit from a military intelligence sharing pact with Japan if Tokyo lifts export curbs that officially took effect on Wednesday.


South Korea’s exit from intelligence-sharing pact with Japan will complicate defense, US warns

The United States stepped up criticism of South Korea’s withdrawal from a military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, warning it will complicate defense and “increase risk to U.S. forces.”


North Korea touts new ‘super-large’ rocket launching system

North Korea said Sunday that it test-fired a new “super-large multiple rocket launcher system” the day before, raising tensions nearly a week after the United States and South Korea concluded military exercises.


North Korea fires two missiles into sea in fiery answer to US call for talks

North Korea fired two missiles into the sea on Saturday, South Korea’s military said, a blow to U.S hopes that the launches would stop and nuclear talks would resume after military exercises concluded earlier this week.


South Korea to withdraw from military intelligence sharing pact with Japan over trade dispute

South Korea will scrap a key military intelligence sharing pact with Japan, the government said Thursday, as an escalating trade spat between the two U.S. allies spilled into the security arena.


US prepared to resume nuclear talks as soon as North Korea gives word, envoy says

The United States is prepared to resume nuclear negotiations, a senior envoy said Wednesday, while the communist state issued new criticism over U.S.-South Korean military exercises that ended the day before.


US troops may be victims of massive credit card hack in South Korea, military says

The thefts targeted unspecified business and financial entities in South Korea and included information on at least 38,000 U.S.-issued payment cards, according to an alert distributed by the Eighth Army.


ANALYSIS

North Korean missile tests, saber-rattling test US-South Korean alliance

North Korea stepped up its criticism of U.S.-South Korean military exercises on Sunday, warning the drills will have “disastrous consequences” despite allied efforts to scale them back.


North Korean leader hails ‘mysterious and amazing success rates’ after latest missile test

The latest launch of missiles and rockets comes as the communist state steps up pressure on the United States and South Korea while the allies conduct joint military exercises this month.


VIETNAM AT 50

'The torture stopped': 1969 brought temporary changes to infamous Hanoi Hilton

American prisoners of war locked up for years in North Vietnam knew the drill. Bow to their captors or take a beating. But in October 1969, the rules changed.


Momentum for dialogue with North Korea ‘unshaken’ despite recent missile tests, Moon says

President Moon Jae-in offered an olive branch to Japan over the two countries’ trade dispute on Thursday, while vowing to “solidify denuclearization and peace” on the Korean Peninsula before his term ends.


North Korea shows off another missile as Trump predicts nuclear talks will resume

North Korea showed off more missiles on Sunday, hours after President Donald Trump said he’s not worried about the recent spate of launches and raised hope for new nuclear talks with the communist state.


North Korea test-fires two more missiles into sea, South says

The latest launch — the fifth in just over two weeks — came hours after President Donald Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent him a “beautiful letter” and complained about the “war games.”


Trump says talks underway to persuade South Korea to pay more for defense

President Donald Trump’s comments, made in a series of tweets, were the first indication that new negotiations with South Korea were underway.


US, South Korea start low-key joint military drills after North Korean missile tests

The quiet start of U.S.-South Korea exercises was in sharp contrast to past years. The allies declined to officially announce the two-week exercise had begun or provide details, but several officials confirmed they were underway.


Analysis

North Korea flexes military muscle ahead of US-South Korean drills

The North stopped short of crossing the red line set by President Donald Trump, who has said he’s not worried because the weapons launched were not intercontinental ballistic missiles that could target the U.S. mainland.


South Korea, US plan military exercises despite North Korean missile tests, officials say

A series of missile launches happened after the North warned the South against taking part in joint military exercises with the United States, which are reportedly to begin next week.


North Korean soldier defects to South in midnight DMZ river crossing, military says

The defection comes at a sensitive time. Efforts by Seoul to improve relations between the two Koreas have been stymied amid stalled U.S.-North Korean nuclear talks.


North Korean leader oversaw test of ‘multiple launch guided rocket system,’ state media says

The Korean Central News Agency said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had guided the test-firing of a newly developed “large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system.”