So, the Korean National Police entered a US military base for the first time in 16 years to question the asshat who got himself shot Saturday night.
Police investigations have so far turned up that the GIs in question shot the BBs for fun (apparently something of a USFK tradition), something the suspects told investigators they do regularly. The couple tested negative for drugs, but the cops plan to conduct a more thorough test. The problem is that the three are blaming one another, with the shot corporal claiming the sergeant was the guy doing the shooting and driving, while the sergeant claims it was the corporal who did the shooting and driving. Interestingly enough, the testimony of the female soldier who joined in the spree—often identified as the wife of the sergeant—reportedly matches that of the shot corporal.
They apparently also told police they fled out of fear when they got pounced upon by police and local residents, that they bought the BB rounds at a stationary store near Itaewon, that they were too afraid to remember hitting the cop, and that they didn’t actually shoot anyone with the BBs, but rather shot at signboards and the like.
Do we really have to take these guys back after they complete their jail sentences here?
There was a protest in front of Yongsan yesterday, during which time News 1 noted some GIs smirking evilly from the overpass.
Let nobody fault CBS’s Byeon Sang-wook for a short memory. He cites the very first GI crime in Korea ever, which took place on Sept 8, 1945. As US troops were landing at Incheon, the US military used Japanese police to keep locals from entering Incheon Harbor. Despite this, some locals gathered at the harbor carrying Korean and American flags to welcome the Americans. The Japanese police fired on the crowd for entering a restricted area, killing two and wounding about 10.
The US 7th Division left a solitary infantry regiment in Incheon and headed to Seoul the next day, where at 4 pm they officially accepted the surrender of Japanese troops in Korea and raised the US flag over the Government-General building. At the same time, a funeral for the dead Koreans was held in Incheon. When it was finished, the families of the victims filed a complaint with the US military authorities against the Japanese cops, but a US court martial found that the shooting was justified as the crowd had crossed the police line. This, says Byeon, was the first crime ever committed by the US military in Korea—accessory to murder.
Byeon goes on—to sum up, he thinks the big problem is that US soldiers act not like allies but as an occupation force, and this thinking needs to change. He also thinks the SOFA needs to be revised to instill a sense of fear in GIs.
Oh, and USFK hits keep on coming—three GIs recently got busted after they tried to use a credit card they stole from the bag of a Korean woman they had been drinking with. They also stole her mobile phone. UPDATE: Is it just me, or does it appear the JoongAng Ilbo has taken down the story?