USFK commander James Thurman and 7th Air Force commander Jan-Marc Jouas has issued an apology for American MPs handcuffing three Korean men outside Osan Air Base:

“I want to express my sincere apology to the individuals and community affected by the incident,” said U.S. Army Gen. James Thurman, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), in a press release.

Seven U.S. military policemen got into an argument over parking with three South Koreans in a bustling area near a U.S. military camp in Pyeongtaek, a provincial city of 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on Thursday.

The military policemen on duty at the time of the incident handcuffed the three local men, including a 35-year-old man surnamed Yang, and tried to haul them into a U.S. military base nearby.

Nice going there.

I’m a bit perplexed, though—aren’t the MPs supposed to be accompanied by Korean cops when they go out on patrol? Why didn’t they just let the KNP handle the situation? Sure, it seems like one of the victims was being a dick—something even some sections of the Korean netizenry admit—but surely, there were better ways to handle this, no?

Frankly, I’m surprised incidents involving American MPs don’t happen more often. I get why the MPs need to patrol, but having the law enforcement arm of a foreign military patrolling your neighborhood seems like a recipe for disaster. Must be testament to the MPs’ professionalism that you don’t hear much about them.

Just out of curiosity, do MPs patrol off-base like they do here in other countries like Japan and Germany?

(HT to Kimchi GI)

UPDATE: GI Korea writes:

I can definitely see the Korean national being upset since he has probably parked in front of his business for years off loading equipment and now someone is telling him to move his truck. If the Korean national was being uncooperative the security forces personnel should have just stepped back from the confrontation and waited for the local police to arrive to handle the situation. You would think after the Osan Shakedown Scandal that the security personnel would be very careful not to create another black eye for the airbase.

Ah, who could forget the Osan Shakedown Scandal? Well, I did, so a big thanks to GI Korea for that trip down Memory Lane.

The funniest thing I’ve read was by historian and big-time Twitter guy Chun Woo-yong, who wrote:

The commander of the US 7th Air Force said he “sincerely apologizes” to Pyeongtaek City and city’s residents for the “handcuff incident.” It seems he doesn’t know the maxim “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” He could have just said “I didn’t know” while punishing only the platoon leader or company commander, Korean-style.