The Korean government has reportedly asked the United States to take stern action against recent crimes by U.S. soldiers stationed here.
Korean and U.S. officials began consultations to prevent recurrences and enhance discipline of U.S. service members, Yonhap News Agency reported citing a presidential official responsible for foreign policy and security affairs.
“After consultations with the U.S., we plan to come up with stronger measures,” the official was quoted as saying.
“The United States takes this matter seriously and I believe will take stronger internal measures.”
He said the presidential foreign policy and security affairs office called in a Foreign Ministry official handling relations with the U.S. on Sunday and asked the ministry to demand U.S. Forces Korea and the U.S. Embassy take stronger preventive measures.
Later in the day, the presidential office denied its direct engagement with the U.S., saying that the incident is being handled by the Foreign Ministry.
Several American soldiers have been arrested this month in separate cases on charges of firing a BB gun into a crowded nightlife district in Seoul, and assaulting police officers.
The 8th U.S. Army vowed to step up crime prevention efforts and impose tougher disciplinary actions for soldier misconduct.
“Eighth Army absolutely does not condone and will not tolerate misconduct. Pending the outcome (of investigations), any soldier convicted of a crime will be considered for additional command action, to include separation from the United States Army,” it said in a statement.
Under the strengthened measures that took effect, all U.S. soldiers will be banned from drinking alcohol and receiving extended weekend passes. They will also be required to go through personal conduct training and leadership seminars to better abide by laws and regulations. Those who do not meet conduct standards will face tougher identification screening, it said.
(From news reports)