Garrison command meets with KSTA
May 11, 2009
BOSANDONG South Korea - Col. Larry 'Pepper' Jackson, USAG-RC commander, Lt. Col. Donald Meisler, USAG-Casey commander, Richard Davis, USAG-RC deputy commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Nidal Saeed, USAG-Casey Command Sgt. Maj., met with members of the Korea Special Tourist Association for their quarterly meeting at the Samaul Gumgo building in Bosandong entertainment district in Dongducheon April 23.
The purpose of the meeting was to help KSTA promote good business practices and to reach a mutual understanding and compliance. Members of the chain of command and the KTSA members shared their concern for misconduct within the entertainment district of Warrior Country and their plans to improve.
One of the talking points emphasized during the meeting was prostitution and human trafficking. Due to the many questions that was raised from the members and the seriousness of the topic, command stood up to address the issue.
Jackson stressed the need of teamwork with KSTA members, explaining to them that United States Forces Korea has a zero tolerance policy on prostitution and human trafficking and the same policy should serve in their respected places of business.
"If a Soldier is coming to your place of business with the understanding he can pay one of your bartenders or whoever for their services, then it is prostitution and human trafficking and it is not allowed," Jackson said.
Jackson also told all KTSA to use the military police to assist them any time they need help with an unruly Soldier.
"The MP's are not patrolling trying to report you to the board (referring to the Armed Forces Disciplinary Board which could result in an establishment being placed off limits), but to help you if you have an unruly customer," Jackson explained. "Call the MP's and they can help you. If a Soldier is not paying his bill, or they are drinking underage, let the MPs know; help us so we can help you."
Soldiers drinking under the US legal age of 21 years old, in bars or anywhere else, including Soldiers of age buying for under age Soldiers, was another topic held at the meeting.
In order stop actions such as this, the commanders provided all KSTA signs to post in eyesight for all to read in English and Hangul stating they do card all that enter the bar and those wanting to purchase alcohol must be of legal age to be served.
Before ending the meeting, the commanders gave the KSTA suggestions of ways to enforce and abide by Korean Law and USFK guidance on zero tolerance when it comes to prostitution and human trafficking: refuse service to unruly or rowdy customers, check identification and post age restriction posters in all clubs, insure lighting is sufficient in back corners of clubs, and not to allow the club to become overcrowded which would cause an unsafe environment for all Soldiers and workers of the business outlet.
"We are not saying you are doing the wrong thing," Jackson said. "I think you are all running good businesses and I know you want to run a good business; just help me by telling me your comments or concerns you may have during these meetings."