SBS: American soldiers make Seoul dangerousBy Nathan Schwartzman Jul 11, 2011 3:06AM UTC
SBS recently broadcast a very one-sided report about US soldiers acting up in Itaewon. This is a request from commenter Mryouknowwho.
Update: On the other hand, KBS recently broadcast a report looking at media bias against foreigners.
Every night on the weekend the Seoul district of Itaewon is overrun with American soldiers. United States Forces Korea, saying that Seoul is safe for American soldiers, lifted its curfew and made it an unsafe place for Seoul citizens.
Jo Seong-hyeon reports.
It is early in the morning of the 3rd in the club district of Itaewon.
Some young people who appeared to be Americans got into a scuffle.
[Turn off the camera!]
The fight subsided when American military police arrived.
They harassed a nearby Korean woman driver and lay down anywhere they wanted.
[Shin Gyeong-hwa/Seoul, Sinsa-dong: I felt upset. I kind of thought it wouldn't be good for me to go out alone.]
In July of last year Walter Sharp, commander of the United States Forces Korea, lifted the night-time restrictions that had been placed on American soldiers for the ten years following the September 11 attacks, declaring that “Korea is a safe country.”
Under the restrictions soldiers were to return to their base by midnight, but now there is no need.
It is now 4:10 am.
With the US military having abolished the curfew last year, every weekend night Itaewon becomes a chaos of American soldiers and other foreigners.
The US military allows freedom at night but there is much unhappiness about it.
First, crimes by American soldiers increased 15%.
Serious crimes such as assault, rape, and theft all increased.
On the 26th of last month a woman passing through Itaewon was molested by an American soldier, and recently police caught an American soldier selling the party drug “Spice”.
[Nightclun employee: Drugs are a serious issue in Itaewon, too. I've seen it. It's really serious. And they can infect young Koreans."
The harm falls entirely on our citizens.
[Victim of violence by American military: I want to forget it... sometimes it comes into my mind and I get so upset... when those thoughts come I get so angry and I hate them.]
American soldiers cannot be stopped from going to prostitutues or secretly committing crimes even as they behave appropriately near nightclubs.
[Prof. Park Gyeong-su/National Campaign for Eradication of Cimes by U.S. Troops in Korea (주한미군 범죄근절운동본부): There are punishments such as dishonorable discharge and reductions in pay. If specific regulations are prepared and made known to the public then I believe US military-related problems will subside.”
We must raise our voices to demand that our police power be increased in the areas ridden with US military crimes and that the US military strictly crackdown on US military crimes.