United States Forces Korea

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United States Forces Korea
주한 미군
Active1 July 1957 – present
(66 years, 2 months)
Country South Korea
 United States
TypeSubordinate unified command
Size23,468 personnel
Part of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
Headquarters Camp Humphreys, Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Commander UNC/CFC/USFKGEN Paul J. LaCamera, USA
Deputy CommanderLt Gen Scott L. Pleus, USAF
Command Sergeant MajorCSM Jack H. Love, USA
Distinctive unit insignia
United States Forces Korea
Revised RomanizationJuhanmigun

United States Forces Korea (USFK) is a sub-unified command of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). USFK is the joint headquarters for U.S. combat-ready fighting forces and components under the ROK/US Combined Forces Command (CFC) – a supreme command for all of the South Korean and U.S. ground, air, sea and special operations component commands. Major USFK elements include U.S. Eighth Army (EUSA), U.S. Air Forces Korea (Seventh Air Force), U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK), U.S. Marine Forces Korea (MARFORK) and U.S. Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR). It was established on July 1, 1957.

Its mission is to support the United Nations Command (UNC) and Combined Forces Command by coordinating and planning among U.S. component commands, and exercise operational control of U.S. forces as directed by United States Indo-Pacific Command.

USFK has Title 10 authority, which means that USFK is responsible for organizing, training and equipping U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula so that forces are agile, adaptable and ready.

With 28,500 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in South Korea,[1] U.S. forces in South Korea are a major presence in the region and a key manifestation of the U.S. government's aim to rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific. The USFK mission also includes planning non-combatant evacuation operations to ensure that if the need arises, U.S. and other previously agreed-upon countries' citizens are removed from harm's way. To this end, USFK conducts routine exercises to ensure that this process is effective, efficient, and orderly.

With the relocation of the new USFK and UNC headquarters to Camp Humphreys (in Pyeongtaek) on 29 June 2018, the USFK command and the majority of its subordinate units have officially moved out of the city of Seoul; headquarters are now 35 km (22 mi) further south.[2]


United Nations Command and Combined Forces Command[edit]

While USFK is a separate organization from United Nations Command (UNC) and ROK/US Combined Forces Command (CFC), its mission is to support both UNC and CFC by coordinating and planning among US component commands and providing US supporting forces to the CFC. As such, USFK continues to support the ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty.

In response to the North Korean attack against South Korea on 25 June 1950, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) established the UNC as a unified command under the US in UNSC Resolution 84 on 7 July 1950. The UNC mission was to assist South Korea to repel the attack and restore international peace and security in Korea. Throughout the war, 53 nations provided support to the UNC; 16 nations provided combat forces and five sent medical and hospital units. After three years of hostilities, the commanders of both sides signed the Armistice Agreement on 27 July 1953.

Hostilities today are also deterred by this bi-national defense team that evolved from the multi-national UNC. Established on 7 November 1978, the ROK/US Combined Forces Command (CFC) is the warfighting headquarters. Its role is to deter, or defeat if necessary, outside aggression against the ROK.

Commanders, U.S. Forces Korea[edit]

No. Commander Term Service branch
Portrait Name Took office Left office Term length
George Decker
Decker, GeorgeGeneral
George Decker
1 July 195730 June 19591 year, 364 days
U.S. Army
Carter B. Magruder
Magruder, Carter B.General
Carter B. Magruder
1 July 195930 June 19611 year, 364 days
U.S. Army
Guy S. Meloy
Meloy, Guy S.General
Guy S. Meloy
1 July 196131 July 19632 years, 30 days
U.S. Army
Hamilton H. Howze
Howze, Hamilton H.General
Hamilton H. Howze
1 August 196315 June 19651 year, 318 days
U.S. Army
Dwight E. Beach
Beach, Dwight E.General
Dwight E. Beach
16 June 196531 August 19661 year, 76 days
U.S. Army
Charles H. Bonesteel III
Bonesteel, Charles H. IIIGeneral
Charles H. Bonesteel III
1 September 196630 September 19693 years, 29 days
U.S. Army
John H. Michaelis
Michaelis, John H.General
John H. Michaelis
1 October 196931 August 19722 years, 335 days
U.S. Army
Donald V. Bennett
Bennett, Donald V.General
Donald V. Bennett
1 September 197231 July 1973333 days
U.S. Army
Richard G. Stilwell
Stilwell, Richard G.General
Richard G. Stilwell
1 August 19738 October 19763 years, 68 days
U.S. Army
John W. Vessey Jr.
Vessey, John W. Jr.General
John W. Vessey Jr.
8 October 197610 July 19792 years, 275 days
U.S. Army
John A. Wickham Jr.
Wickham, John A. Jr.General
John A. Wickham Jr.
(born 1928)
10 July 19794 June 19822 years, 329 days
U.S. Army
Robert W. Sennewald
Sennewald, Robert W.General
Robert W. Sennewald
(born 1929)
4 June 19821 June 19841 year, 363 days
U.S. Army
William J. Livsey
Livsey, William J.General
William J. Livsey
1 June 198425 June 19873 years, 24 days
U.S. Army
Louis C. Menetrey Jr.
Menetrey, Louis C. Jr.General
Louis C. Menetrey Jr.
25 June 198726 June 19903 years, 1 day
U.S. Army
Robert W. RisCassi
RisCassi, Robert W.General
Robert W. RisCassi
(born 1936)
26 June 199015 June 19932 years, 354 days
U.S. Army
Gary E. Luck
Luck, Gary E.General
Gary E. Luck
(born 1937)
15 June 19939 July 19963 years, 24 days
U.S. Army
John H. Tilelli Jr.
Tilelli, John H. Jr.General
John H. Tilelli Jr.
(born 1941)
9 July 19969 December 19993 years, 153 days
U.S. Army
Thomas A. Schwartz
Schwartz, Thomas A.General
Thomas A. Schwartz
(born 1945)
9 December 19991 May 20022 years, 143 days
U.S. Army
Leon J. LaPorte
LaPorte, Leon J.General
Leon J. LaPorte
(born 1946)
1 May 20023 February 20063 years, 278 days
U.S. Army
B.B. Bell
Bell, B.B.General
B.B. Bell
(born 1947)
3 February 20063 June 20082 years, 121 days
U.S. Army
Walter L. Sharp
Sharp, Walter L.General
Walter L. Sharp
(born 1952)
3 June 200814 July 20113 years, 41 days
U.S. Army
James D. Thurman
Thurman, James D.General
James D. Thurman
(born 1953)
14 July 201112 October 20132 years, 80 days
U.S. Army
Curtis M. Scaparrotti
Scaparrotti, Curtis M.General
Curtis M. Scaparrotti
(born 1956)
2 October 201330 April 20162 years, 211 days
U.S. Army
Vincent K. Brooks
Brooks, Vincent K.General
Vincent K. Brooks
(born 1958)
30 April 20168 November 20182 years, 192 days
U.S. Army
Robert B. Abrams
Abrams, Robert B.General
Robert B. Abrams
(born 1960)
8 November 20182 July 20212 years, 236 days
U.S. Army
Paul LaCamera
LaCamera, Paul J.General
Paul LaCamera
(born 1963)
2 July 2021Incumbent2 years, 80 days
U.S. Army


The following is a partial list of border incidents involving North Korea since the Armistice Agreement of 27 July 1953, ended large scale military action of the Korean War. Most of these incidents took place near either the Korean Demilitarized Zone or the Northern Limit Line. This list includes engagements on land, air and sea but does not include alleged incursions and terrorist incidents that occurred away from the border.

Many of the incidents occurring at sea are due to border disputes. The North claims jurisdiction over a large area south of the disputed western maritime border, the Northern Limit Line in the waters west of the Korean Peninsula. This is a prime fishing area, particularly for crabs, and clashes commonly occur. In addition, the North claims its territorial waters extend for 50 nautical miles (90 km) from the coast, rather than the 12 nautical miles (22 km) recognized by other countries. According to the 5 January 2011 Korea Herald, since July 1953 North Korea has violated the armistice 221 times, including 26 military attacks.[9]


  • 16 February 1958: North Korean agents hijack a South Korean airliner to Pyongyang en route from Pusan to Seoul; one American pilot, one American passenger, two West German passengers and 24 other passengers were released in early March, but eight other passengers remained in the North.[10]


Sgt. Charles Jenkins in 2007.
  • May 1962: Pvt. Larry Allen Abshier abandoned his post in South Korea in May 1962 when he crept away from his base and crossed the DMZ into North Korea. Abshier was the first to defect. Also in May 1962, Cpl. Jerry Parrish crossed the DMZ into North Korea. His reasons for defecting, according to Jenkins' autobiography The Reluctant Communist, were "personal, and [Parrish] didn't elaborate about them much except to say that if he ever went home, his father-in-law would kill him."[11]
  • Aug 1962: James Joseph Dresnok was a Pfc. with a U.S. Army unit along the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Soon after his arrival he found himself facing a court martial for forging signatures on paperwork that gave him permission to leave base and which, ultimately, led to his being AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave).[12] Unwilling to face punishment, on 15 August 1962, while his fellow soldiers were eating lunch, he ran across a minefield in broad daylight into North Korean territory, where he was quickly apprehended by North Korean soldiers. Dresnok was taken by train to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, and interrogated.[13]
  • 1964: North Korea creates an underground group: Revolution Party for Reunification. This group is ground down and eliminated by South Korean authorities by 1969[14]
  • Jan 1965: Charles Jenkins, the most notable case, defected to North Korea. In South Korea he was assigned to night patrols. As a result of fears that he would be transferred to combat duty in Vietnam, he grew depressed and anxious, and started drinking alcohol. On the night of 4 January 1965, after reportedly drinking ten beers, he set off on his nightly patrol of the Demilitarized Zone. In the early morning he told his patrol that he was going to investigate a noise.[15] He subsequently crossed into North Korea and surrendered to forces there, in hopes of being sent to Russia and then, through prisoner exchange, eventually returned to America. Shortly thereafter North Korean propaganda declared that a U.S. sergeant had defected, and broadcast statements allegedly made by the defector, reportedly in stilted English. The U.S. Army claimed Jenkins wrote four letters stating his intention to defect (an allegation Jenkins denies); however, the original letters are reportedly lost. His relatives maintained throughout his absence that he was abducted.[15]
  • 27 April 1965: Two North Korean MiG-17s attack a United States EC-121 Warning Star reconnaissance plane in the waters east of the Korean Peninsula, 80 km (50 mi) from the North Korean shore. The aircraft was damaged, but managed to land at Yokota Air Base, Japan.[16][17]
  • 17 January 1968: In an incident known as the Blue House Raid, a 31-man detachment from the Korean People's Army secretly crossed the DMZ on a mission to kill South Korean President Park Chung-hee on 21 January, nearly succeeding. The incursion was discovered after South Korean civilians confronted the North Koreans and informed South Korean authorities. After entering Seoul disguised as South Korean soldiers, the North Koreans attempt to enter the Blue House (the official residence of the President of South Korea). They are confronted by South Korean police and a firefight ensued. The North Koreans fled Seoul and individually attempted to cross the DMZ back to North Korea. Of the original group of 31 North Koreans, 28 were killed, one was captured and two are unaccounted for. Additionally, 68 South Koreans were killed and 66 were wounded, the majority of whom were soldiers and police officers. Three American soldiers were also killed and three were wounded.[18]
  • 23 January 1968: The United States Naval ship the USS Pueblo is boarded and captured, along with its crew, by North Korean forces in the waters east of the Korean Peninsula. The entire crew of 83 is captured, with the exception of one sailor killed in the initial attack on the vessel, and the vessel was taken to a North Korean port. All the captives were released on 23 December of the same year via the Bridge of No Return at the DMZ. The USS Pueblo is still in North Korean possession and is docked in Pyongyang and is on display as a museum ship.[19]
  • 30 October 1968: From 30 October-2 November 120–130 North Korean commandos land on the northeast shore of South Korea, allegedly to establish a base in order to wage a guerrilla war against the South Korean government. A total of 110–113 were killed, seven were captured and 13 escaped. Around 20 South Korean civilians, law enforcement officers and soldiers were killed.[17][20]
  • March 1969: Six North Korean commandos kill a South Korean police officer near Jumunjin, Gangwon-do. Seven American soldiers are killed in a North Korean attack along the DMZ.[21]
  • April 1969: An EC-121, U.S. reconnaissance plane is shot down 90 miles (140 km) east of the North Korean coast, leaving 31 dead.
  • November 1969: Four U.S. soldiers are killed by North Koreans in the Demilitarized Zone.


Axe murder incident on 18 August 1976.
  • April 1970: In Geumchon, a region of Paju south of the DMZ, a clash leaves three North Korean soldiers dead and five South Korean soldiers wounded.
  • June 1970: The North Korean navy seizes a broadcast vessel from the South near the Northern Limit Line. Twenty crewmen are captured.
  • February 1974: Two South Korean fishing vessels are sunk and 30 crew detained by the North.
  • 1974: The first tunnel into ROK is discovered (the three following tunnels were found in 1975, 1978, 1990)[14]
  • June 1976: An incursion south of the DMZ in Gangwon-do leaves three dead from the North and six from the South.
  • 18 August 1976: The Korean axe murder incident—an attempt to clear brush in the Demilitarized Zone near Panmunjom ends with two U.S. soldiers dead.
  • October 1979: Three North Koreans enter the eastern DMZ. One is killed.
  • December 1979: One U.S. Army soldier killed, three U.S. soldiers wounded after stumbling into a North Korean minefield in a heavy fog while patrolling DMZ. One body is recovered from the North Koreans five days later.


  • March 1980: Three North Koreans are killed while trying to cross the Han River estuary.
  • May 1980: North Koreans engage OP Ouillette on DMZ in firefight. One North Korean WIA.
  • March 1981: Three North Koreans try to enter the South in Geumhwa-eup, Cheorwon, Gangwon-do; one is killed.
  • July 1981: Three North Koreans are killed trying to cross the Imjin River to the South.
  • November 1984: Nine North Korean soldiers and one South Korean soldier die, and one American soldier is wounded, during a firefight that erupted when a North Korean security detail chased a defecting Soviet citizen (Vasily Matusak) across the MDL into the southern-controlled sector of the Joint Security Area.
  • November 1987: One South Korean killed on DMZ central sector by North Korean sniper fire.


  • May 1992: Three North Korean soldiers in South Korean uniforms are killed in Cheolwon, Gangwon-do; three South Korean soldiers are wounded.
  • December 1994: North Koreans shoot down US Army helicopter. One US KIA and one US POW for 13 days.
  • May 1995: North Korean forces fire on a South Korean fishing boat, killing three crewmen.
  • October 1995: Two armed North Koreans are discovered at the Imjin River; one is killed.
  • April 1996: Several hundred armed North Korean troops cross repeatedly into the Demilitarized Zone.
  • May 1996: Seven Northern soldiers cross south of the Demilitarized Zone, but withdraw after warning shots are fired.
  • May & June 1996: North Korean vessels twice cross the Northern Limit Line and have a several-hour standoff with the South Korean navy.
  • April 1997: Five North Korean soldiers cross the Demilitarized Zone in Cheolwon, Gangwon-do, and fire on South Korean positions.
  • June 1997: Three North Korean vessels cross the Northern Limit Line and attack South Korean vessels two miles (3.2 km) south of the line. On land, 14 North Korean soldiers cross 70m south of the center of the DMZ, leading to a 23-minute exchange of fire.
  • June 1999: A series of clashes between North and South Korean vessels takes place in the waters west of the Korean Peninsula near the Northern Limit Line.


  • 2001: On 12 separate occasions, North Korean vessels cross the Northern Limit Line and then withdraw.
  • 27 November 2001: North and South Korean forces exchange fire without injuries.
  • 29 June 2002: Renewed naval clashes near the Northern Limit Line lead to the deaths of four South Korean sailors and the sinking of a South Korean vessel. The number of North Koreans killed is unknown.
  • 16 November 2002: South Korean forces fire warning shots at a Northern boat crossing the Northern Limit Line. The boat withdraws. A similar incident is repeated on 20 November.
  • 19 February 2003: A North Korean fighter plane crosses seven miles (11 km) south of the Northern Limit Line, and returns north after being intercepted by six South Korean planes.
  • 2 March 2003: Four North Korean fighter jets intercept a US reconnaissance plane over the waters east of the Korean Peninsula.
  • 17 July 2003: North and South Korean forces exchange fire at the DMZ around 6:00 am. The South Korean army reports four rounds fired from the North and 17 from the South. No injuries are reported.[22]
  • 1 November 2004: North Korean vessels, claiming to be in pursuit of illegal fishing craft, cross the Northern Limit Line and are fired upon by the South. The vessels withdraw three hours later.
  • 30 July 2006: Several rounds are exchanged near a South Korean post in Yanggu, Gangwon.
  • 10 November 2009: Naval vessels from the two Koreas exchanged fire in the area of the NLL, reportedly causing serious damage to a North Korean patrol ship.[23] For more details of this incident, see Battle of Daecheong.


  • 26 March 2010: A South Korean naval vessel, the ROKS Cheonan, was allegedly sunk by a North Korean torpedo near Baengnyeong Island in the waters west of the Korean Peninsula. A rescue operation recovered 58 survivors but 46 sailors died. On 20 May 2010 a South Korean-led international investigation group concluded that the sinking of the warship was in fact the result of a North Korean torpedo attack.[24][25] North Korea denied involvement.[26] The United Nations Security Council made a Presidential Statement condemning the attack but without identifying the attacker.[27]
  • 23 November 2010: North Korea fired artillery at South Korea's Greater Yeonpyeong island in the waters west of the Korean Peninsula and South Korea returned fire. Two South Korean marines and two South Korean civilians were killed, six were seriously wounded and ten were treated for minor injuries. Approximately 70 South Korean houses were destroyed.[28][29][30] North Korean casualties were unknown, but Lee Hong-gi, the Director of Operations of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), claimed that as a result of the South Korean retaliation "there may be a considerable number of North Korean casualties".[31]
  • 2014: Some of the American forces that had withdrawn from South Korea to take part in the Iraq invasion have been replaced by the nine-month-long deployment of a battalion from the 1st Cavalry Division.[32]
  • 2019: President Trump sought an increased South Korean contribution toward USFK costs from $830 million to about $5 billion annually.[33] This was not agreed, and resulted in the furlough without pay of about 4,500 South Korean civilian staff in April 2020.[34]

Number of U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea by year[edit]

Year Number
1950 510
1951 42,069
1952 326,863
1953 326,863
1954 225,590
1955 75,328
1956 68,813
1957 71,045
1958 46,024
1959 49,827
1960 55,864
1961 57,694
1962 60,947
1963 56,910
1964 62,596
1965 58,636
1966 47,076
1967 55,057
1968 62,263
1969 66,531
1970 52,197
1971 40,740
1972 41,600
1973 41,864
1974 40,387
1975 40,204
1976 39,133
1977 40,705
1978 41,565
1979 39,018
1980 38,780
1981 38,254
1982 39,194
1983 38,705
1984 40,785
1985 41,718
1986 43,133
1987 44,674
1988 45,501
1989 44,461
1990 41,344
1991 40,062
1992 35,743
1993 34,830
1994 36,796
1995 36,016
1996 36,539
1997 35,663
1998 36,890
1999 35,913
2000 36,565
2001 37,605
2002 37,743
2003 41,145
2004 40,840
2005 30,983
2020 28,500


Each year the ROK, the US and a selection of Sending States from the United Nations Command participate in multiple defense-oriented, combined and joint training events designed to defend the Republic of Korea, protect the region, and maintain and increase stability on the Korean peninsula.

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress conducted a low-level flight in the vicinity of Osan Air Base, South Korea.

Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, Key Resolve, and Foal Eagle, in addition to multiple Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) Drills, are the three theater level exercises.

  • Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) is an annual simulation driven, command transformation-oriented Command Post Exercise (CPX). Elements of the ROK and US governments participate, as well as ROK and US forces from on and off the Korean peninsula. UFG integrates the annual ROK government exercise "Ulchi", which focuses on procedures for transitioning to war, government support. Ulchi also emphasizes ROK procedures for coordination between government and military organizations from the national to local level. UFG typically incorporates the following components: a Crisis Management Exercise focused on strategic and operational decisions needed to defuse a crisis, or posture the command for successful execution of the appropriate OPLAN if the enemy actions dictate; a Senior Leader Seminar (SLS) designed to foster senior-level discussion on a variety of topics related to crisis management and war-fighting; and a two-week Computer Assisted Exercise that exercises the transition to war, defense, and counteroffensive phases of the war-fight. The exercise culminates in detailed senior leader level After-Action Reviews (AARs).
  • Key Resolve (KR) is over the course of a two-week-long CFC and ROK crisis management and war-fighting exercise. It provides invaluable opportunities to evaluate, train, and improves combined and joint coordination, procedures, plans and systems necessary for the conduct of contingency operations by ROK and US forces. It is a simulation driven Command Post exercise that exercises the defense of the ROK and the ability of the US to bring forces into the Theater of Operations to participate in that defense. The exercise culminates in detailed senior leader level AARs.
  • Foal Eagle (FE) is a series of component-sponsored joint and combined Field Training Exercises (FTX) that support training of OPLAN related tasks via participation of selected off-peninsula units. FE demonstrates US power projection and rapid deployment capabilities and is conducted concurrently, but not linked to, the KR CPX. Tactical units are the primary FE FTX training audience exercising all aspects of CFC's mission; rear area security, support operations, RSOI, special operations, ground maneuver, expeditionary operations, air combat operations, and maritime operations.

In June 2018 the South Korea and the US claimed they are ready to stop the conducting of military drills in order to create significant opportunities for the negotiations with DPRK.[36]

Shoulder sleeve insignia[edit]


A shield-shaped embroidered device 3+18 inches (7.9 cm) in height and 2+12 inches (6.4 cm) in width overall blazoned: azure, in chief four mullets bendwise argent, all above a stylized American bald eagle, issuant from sinister base volant to dexter chief; the eagle's body gules surmounted by two bendlets, wider at base, of the second throughout; head of the second, eyed of the field, leg and talons of the second grasping a laurel branch and seven arrows or. The entire shield shape is edged with a 116-inch (0.16 cm) white border. Attached above the device is a designation band in scarlet inscribed "USFK" in white letters. The entire device is edged with a 18-inch (0.32 cm) blue border.


The shield shape reflects the United States Forces Korea's steadfast commitment to defend the sovereignty of South Korea. The abbreviation "USFK" stands for United States Forces Korea which activated on 1 July 1957. The four stars symbolize the service and contributions of the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force, and the United States Marine Corps. The stylized American bald eagle represents cohesion and unity among the services. The laurel sprigs and arrows depict the mission of the United States Forces Korea to defeat aggression if necessary. Red, white, and blue are the colors of the flag of the United States of America. Red symbolizes hard work and honor, white represents innocence and purity, and blue refers to justice and perseverance. Yellow signifies wisdom and intuition.


The shoulder sleeve insignia was approved on 18 June 2012. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-1077).[37]


United States Forces Korea warns American soldiers not to hire prostitutes or get involved in human trafficking.
South Koreans protest the expansion of Camp Humphreys in 2006.

Gwangju Uprising[edit]

The 1980s marked a surge in anti-Americanism in Korea, widely traced to the events of May 1980.[38]

Gwangju convinced a new generation of young [Koreans] that the democratic movement had developed not with the support of Washington, as an older generation of more conservative Koreans thought, but in the face of daily American support for any dictator who could quell the democratic aspirations of the Korean people. The result was an anti-American movement in the 1980s that threatened to bring down the whole structure of American support for the ROK. American cultural centers were burned to the ground (more than once in Gwangju); students immolated themselves in protest of Reagan's support for Chun [Doo-hwan].[39]

Fundamental to this movement was a perception of U.S. complicity in Chun's rise to power, and, more particularly, in the Gwangju massacre itself. These matters remain controversial. It is clear, for example, that the U.S. authorized the Korean Army's 20th Division to re-take Gwangju – as acknowledged in a 1982 letter to the New York Times by then-Ambassador Gleysteen.

[General Wickham], with my concurrence, permitted transfer of well-trained troops of the twentieth R.O.K.A. Division from martial-law duty in Seoul to Gwangju because law and order had to be restored in a situation that had run amok following the outrageous behavior of the Korean Special Forces, which had never been under General Wickham's command.[40]

However, as Gwangju Uprising editors Scott-Stokes and Lee note, whether the expulsion of government troops left the situation lawless or "amok" is very much open to dispute.

21st century[edit]

In 2002, anti-American sentiment in South Korea spiked after two U.S. soldiers in an M60 armored vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB) accidentally hit and killed two South Korean teenage girls in the Yangju highway incident.[41]

An expansion of Camp Humphreys later in the decade served as a catalyst for the Daechuri Protests, drawing thousands of South Korean citizens,[42] resulting in occasional violent clashes and arrests.[43] Following a series of large protests against the U.S. and Republic of Korea governments' plan to expand Camp Humphreys and make it the main base for most U.S. troops in South Korea, residents of Daechuri and other small villages near Pyeongtaek agreed to a government settlement to leave their homes in 2006 and allow the base's expansion.[44][45] Compensation for the land averaged 600 million won (about US$600,000) per resident.[46]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, members of USFK, and other foreign nationals were reported to have no-mask parties at Haeundae Beach in Busan for the Independence Day of 2020,[47] and the Memorial Day of 2021, despite local social distancing restrictions.[48] They engaged in unruly behavior, which included playing loud music, heavy drinking, and the shooting of firecrackers at locals.[49]

Relationships between U.S. soldiers and South Korean women[edit]

Western princesses (prostitutes servicing U.S. soldiers) have resulted in a negative image for South Korean women who have relationships with American men.[50][51]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Work, Clint (25 August 2020). "How to Constructively and Safely Reduce and Realign US Forces on the Korean Peninsula". 38 North. The Henry L. Stimson Center. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  2. ^ UNC and USFK Open New Headquarters Building Retrieved 2 July 2018
  3. ^ "Home page of Eighth Army". Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Home". cnrk.cnic.navy.mil. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  5. ^ "U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea". www.marfork.marines.mil. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Pages - SOCKOR Home". www.socom.mil. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Home page of 7th Air Force". www.7af.pacaf.af.mil. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  8. ^ Lendon, Brad (14 December 2022). "US Space Force establishes first foreign command in South Korea as threat from North grows". CNN.
  9. ^ "N.K. Commits 221 Provocations Since 1953". Korea Herald. 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  10. ^ Dick K. Nanto (18 March 2003). "Report for Congress, North Korea: Chronology of Provocations, 1950 - 2003" (PDF). Federation for American Scientists. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. ^ The Reluctant Communist. Charles Robert Jenkins (University of California Press) p. 34
  12. ^ Russell, Mark (19 October 2006). "An American in North Korea, Pledging Allegiance to the Great Leader". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2007.
  13. ^ Anderson, Robert G.; Casey Morgan (28 January 2007). "Joe Dresnok: An American in North Korea". 60 Minutes. CBS News. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  14. ^ a b Seth, Michael. "12 North Korea: Recovery, Transformation, and Decline, 1953 to 1993". A History of Korea: History to Antiquity. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  15. ^ a b "Deserter Recalls N. Korean Hell". CBS News.
  16. ^ "Cold War Shootdowns". Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  17. ^ a b "North Korean Provocative Actions, 1950 - 2007" (PDF). United States Congress. 20 April 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  18. ^ Daniel, Bolger. "3: A Continuous Nightmare" (PDF). Scenes from an Unfinished War: Low-Intensity Conflict in Korea, 1966-1968 (PDF). Command and General Staff College. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  19. ^ "Pueblo". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. United States Navy. Archived from the original on 8 December 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  20. ^ "filtration of North Korean Commando Troops into Ulchin-Samchok Area". Koreascope. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
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