Korea, U.S. to launch study on USFK crime

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Korea, U.S. to launch study on USFK crime

Korean and U.S. officials agreed yesterday to launch a joint review of the current process for dealing with crimes involving U.S. military personnel, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

At a day-long committee meeting on the U.S.?South Korea Status of Forces Agreement, the two sides agreed to embark on a joint study of ways to streamline Korea-led investigations into USFK-related crime.

During the meeting, led by Kim Hyoung-zhin, the ministry’s director-general, and Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Remington, deputy USFK commander, the two sides agreed to consider the possibility of a faster transfer of U.S. military personnel who are suspected of crimes to the Korean side, an official of the ministry said. The official said the two sides also agreed on the continued use of a 2001 bilateral agreement stipulating that the U.S. give “sympathetic consideration” when Seoul requests the transfer of U.S. military personnel. The two sides are also likely to review another previous agreement that requires Seoul to decide whether to indict a U.S. soldier within 24 hours of the transfer to the Korean side, the official said.

The joint study will be launched within a few days, the official said, after the two sides draft a written agreement.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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