US military move in South Korea upsetting

US military move in South Korea upsetting

Relations with most Asian countries are tenuous when it comes to the US.  Japan is still angry at the US for issues that occurred during the last World War, although it has tolerated US presence on its shores.  This tolerance is now at an end, however, since the agreement is up.

China is trying to become a stronger world power and, with the funds to do so, it is succeeding.  South Korea has had a better relationship with the US, but this is being tested with a recent military move to arrest local residents for parking infringement.  US Forces in Korea had to apologize on Sunday for these arrests.  The incidents happened near the US bases in South Korea, which have no parking areas that local residents have parked in.  Since the US military presence is sensitive, the incidents have created large protests. There have even been requests for military moves out of Korea.

One serviceman in the US military began arguing with a local car owner last week.  The incident ended in a scuffle, with a very large crowd being drawn.  Military police then handcuffed three locals to take them in for questioning.  General James Thurman apologized in a handwritten statement.

In 2002, the deaths of two schoolgirls hit by US military vehicles previously made the US presence in South Korea upsetting.  It may be that the US will need to take most of the 28,000 troops out of South Korea, with service relocation to nearby US bases.  A relocation like this may be demanded if more controversial incidents occur.

Lance Grooms