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SEOUL — U.S. Forces Korea has filed for a two-week extension to decide whether it will release criminal jurisdiction to South Korea in the case of a U.S. soldier who was driving a military truck that struck and killed a woman.

South Korea’s Ministry of Justice requested a “release of criminal jurisdiction,” on July 26 and USFK had 28 days to respond or to request a 14-day extension.

USFK legal officials requested the extension on Aug. 18, said command spokesman David Oten, and must make a final decision by Sept. 1.

U.S. officials have said they “will thoroughly review the matter and give full and sympathetic consideration to this request.”

The request is in connection with a June 10 incident in which 19-year-old Pfc. Jeff Bryant, driving an 8th Army truck, struck 51-year-old Kim Myung-ja in Dongducheon, near Camp Casey.

Korean investigators said Kim was jaywalking at the time of the accident. Police forwarded charges of “duty-related accidental homicide” to the Uijongbu city prosecutor’s office in late June.

USFK officials provided the prosecutors with an “official duty certificate” that declares Bryant was on duty at the time of the accident. Under the Status of Forces Agreement, the U.S. military adjudicates when U.S. troops are accused of crimes committed while on duty.


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