ITAEWON-DONG, Republic of Korea -- A Memorandum of Understanding was re-signed by the Itaewon Bar Owners' Association and U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan to strengthen the partnership between Korea and the United States, July 24.

Wonsoon Yoo, president of IBOA, and Col. Michael. E. Masley, garrison commander for USAG Yongsan, and other respective business and military leaders joined together for the signing event, which last occurred in 2009.

The MOU has stood the test of time for over 20 years in order to ensure health and safety measures are in place for U.S. service members, families and civilians visiting the Itaewon area. It also provides a framework for relations between USAGY and the IBOA to promote partnership and cooperation.

"Today's signing reaffirms our great partnership and aims for collaboration to strengthen the ROK-U.S. alliance," Masley said. "And now I am confident that I can continue to look to the people in this room as partners to ensure measures are in place for the safety of our Area II service members, families and civilians."

The agreements made in the memorandum include USAG-Y providing military police and command presence patrols to monitor Itaewon entertainment district; the IBOA agrees to provide timely notification to USAGY Directorate of Emergency Services of members found not in compliance with agreements in memorandum; and IBOA establishments, which fail to meet the agreements can be placed on the Area II off-limits list.

The IBOA also promised to promote safety in Itaewon and provide as much cooperation as they can to USAGY patrols.

"We are willing to prevent safety issues from happening in Itaewon," Yoo said. "Terror, drug, prostitute, human trafficking and underage drinking will be banned from Itaewon with IBOA's effort to purify itself. Also, we will gladly provide the military police the youth watch house next to fire station to use as their storage room."

After signing the memorandum, IBOA and USAGY leaders pledged to make continuous efforts to meet and to make Itaewon a safer place for all visitors.