Kim Gamel

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.

South Korea dials down coronavirus restrictions as numbers decline

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea will ease coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and coffee shops for two weeks beginning Monday to reward a declining number of confirmed cases.

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.


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.

US airman tests positive for coronavirus upon arrival in South Korea

The report raised to 36 the number of confirmed coronavirus cases affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea, including 12 active-duty service members, since an outbreak began in late February.

US service member tests positive for coronavirus after flying to South Korea

The total number of coronavirus cases affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea now stands at 35 — a quarter of which have been troops traveling to the peninsula from abroad.


North Korean military threats target South but also send a message to Trump

The principal target of the North’s ire was South Korea's president, but experts said it also sent a message to the U.S. that the regime is prepared to raise the ante with more provocations amid frustration over the lack of progress in nuclear talks.

North Korea blows up joint liaison office near border with South Korea

North Korea blew up a joint liaison office near the border with South Korea on Tuesday in a sharp escalation of tensions triggered by the dispatch of anti-regime leaflets by activists.

North Korea threatens to re-enter demilitarized border areas amid latest tensions

The North Korean army said it was “keeping a close watch on the current situation in which the north-south relations are turning worse and worse.”

US Forces Korea bans display of Confederate flag in on-base public areas

The order comes as Confederate symbols have become a frequent target for protesters following the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of police.

South Korea on alert following threats from the North two years after first Trump-Kim summit

The defense ministry in Seoul said it was closely monitoring North Korean military moves and maintaining a defensive posture “in preparation for all eventualities.”


‘Eating away at us’: US troops honor George Floyd with candlelight vigil at Camp Humphreys

Gen. Robert Abrams, who commands U.S. Forces Korea, has expressed outrage over the killing and held a town hall-style meeting Sunday after directing subordinate leaders to initiate dialogue with their units.

Two newly arrived US troops test positive for coronavirus amid South Korean outbreaks

Two service members who recently took government-chartered flights to Osan Air Base tested positive for the coronavirus.

North Korea doesn’t answer phone after vowing to cut communication with South

Tensions between North and South Korea have been rising since U.S.-led nuclear talks with the North broke down. Pyongyang also resumed missile tests amid the impasse.

Black troops call for action to fight racism in the military during USFK forum

U.S. military leaders have been unusually outspoken about the need to address institutional racism amid a growing wave of civil unrest over the latest killing of a black man in police custody.

US Forces Korea commander says ‘we should all be outraged’ by George Floyd killing

Gen. Robert Abrams was the latest senior official to speak out publicly the police killing of George Floyd, which has unleashed nationwide unrest and anger that has extended to troops overseas.

‘Unusual senior year’: DODEA students enjoy in-person graduations in South Korea

After months of online classes, seniors at DODEA schools in South Korea graduated together.

US agrees to temporary deal allowing furloughed South Korean employees to return to work

The deal, announced in a press release, will end a more than two-month furlough of U.S. Forces Korea employees but does not resolve a larger dispute over defense cost-sharing between the two longtime allies.

Another US soldier tests positive for coronavirus after arriving in South Korea

The new case, which brings to 32 the number of people affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea who have been found to have the virus, underscores the continuing challenges involved in personnel movements amid the pandemic.

South Korea restores anti-coronavirus measures in Seoul amid new outbreaks

Museums, theaters, parks and other public facilities in the Seoul metropolitan area will close for two weeks starting Friday.

US Forces Korea worker helps thwart apparent suicide attempts on bridge in Seoul

An American who works at Yongsan Garrison sprang into action when he saw two men perched dangerously on barriers lining a bridge.

United Nations Command says it is unable to determine if North Korea accidentally fired in DMZ shooting

A probe into the shooting earlier this month found that both Koreas violated the 1953 armistice agreement, officials said Tuesday.

North Korean leader seeks more nuclear strength in first appearance in three weeks

In his first reported appearance in more than three weeks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over a meeting calling for increased nuclear capabilities and putting the armed forces on “high alert,” state-run media said Sunday.