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Yongsan Base To Be Relocated in October at the Earliest

Posted June. 29, 2003 22:08,   


The U.S. and South Korean government agreed Friday to relocate the Yongsan U.S. garrison in October at the earliest and to relocate the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division to south of the Han River in two stages. There were, however, discrepancies concerning the exact relocation timing for the 2ID base. Ongoing discussions are expected in the future.

The two sides also agreed to operate rotational units of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) troops at training ranges near the border on a six-month basis to make up for the loss of military strength along the DMZ after the 2nd Division is relocated.

South Korea Defense Minister Cho Yung-kil, currently visiting the U.S. and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came to the agreement during talks in Washington D.C. Friday, Lt. Gen. Cha Young-koo of the Defense Ministry explained after the talks.

“The first phase would involve an initial consolidation of U.S. forces to a smaller number of bases prior to being stationed around Osan Airbase and Camp Humphreys. The second phase will be pursued through close consultation with the two allies,” the two sides announced through a joint statement on the 2ID’s relocation project.

U.S. units expected to be relocated according to the land partnership plan (LPP) will be moved after establishing an adjustment plan through negotiations by the end of the year, and the two sides also agreed on an earlier implementation of U.S. units across the country, by a few years from the original 2011, Mr. Cha said.

Meanwhile, the two defense ministers expressed concern over North Korea`s attempts at reprocessing nuclear material, possession of nuclear weapons and its threat to demonstrate or eliminate these weapons. They also said they wish to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully through multilateral diplomacy.

The two sides also agreed that to “eliminate the North Korean nuclear threat diplomatically requires allied solidarity backed by a strong deterrent.”’

Along with this, the two nations agreed to transfer selected military missions from the United States to South Korea in conjunction with the development of enhancing combined South Korea-U.S. capabilities and agreed that the bilateral alliance should continue to contribute to the stability of the region.