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USFK members allegedly hold 'no mask' dance party on base amid pandemic

Fighter jet F-16 Falcon lifts off tarmac at Osan Air Base (Yonhap)
Fighter jet F-16 Falcon lifts off tarmac at Osan Air Base (Yonhap)

A dance party was held at one of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK)'s bases in South Korea last week where participants allegedly drank alcohol and danced without wearing masks while ignoring social distancing rules amid the pandemic, sources said Monday.

The party took place at a club inside Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on Saturday, according to the sources. Images obtained by Yonhap News Agency show dozens of individuals dancing side by side without wearing face masks.

The incident came as South Korea has experienced the fourth wave of COVID-19 and the country has enforced the highest level of the social distancing scheme for the greater Seoul area since mid-July.

USFK has also reported a series of confirmed cases among its personnel. At least 35 members stationed on the Osan base were infected with the virus so far this month alone, according to the statistics compiled by the U.S. military.

South Korea and the U.S. have also been implementing strict antivirus measures for service members, as they have been staging the major combined exercise since last week. The summertime drill is to end on Thursday.

"USFK is aware of an alleged on-installation event at Osan Air Base and is gathering all the facts and pertinent information surrounding this alleged incident," USFK spokesperson Col. Lee Peters said in a statement.

The USFK has often come under fire for similar incidents. Last year, the U.S. military apologized for no-mask dance parties at the Osan base and nearby Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek amid the pandemic. (Yonhap)

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