The commander of U.S. Forces Korea apologized on Sunday for the handcuffing of Korean civilians by American military police during an argument last week. "I want to express my sincere apology to the individuals and community affected by the incident," Gen. James Thurman said.
"I have directed a thorough investigation.... We will continue to cooperate with the ongoing Korean National Police investigation as we conduct our own investigation," he said. "The Korean people are our good friends and the [Korea-U.S.] Alliance is very important to us."
On Thursday evening, seven U.S. military policemen got into an argument over parking with three Koreans in a bustling area near the USFK base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. The MPs handcuffed the three men and tried to haul them into the military base.
USFK Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas also apologized in a news conference at a U.S. air base in Pyeongtaekon on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, the Director-General of the Foreign Ministry's North American Affairs Bureau, Lee Baek-soon, summoned Jouas to lodge a complaint over the incident.
The two officials head a joint committee for the Korea-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, which governs the legal status of the 28,500 American troops stationed here.