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Base Zone Reduction Bill In the Works

Posted April. 10, 2006 07:02,   


The government and the ruling Uri Party are drafting a bill to reduce the size of the Civilian Access Control Line (CACL) south of the cease-fire line from 15 kilometers south of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) to 10 kilometers south of the MDL by the first half of next year at the earliest.

The government and the Uri Party will present the bill before a special session of the National Assembly in June after holding an official government ruling party consultation session.

If the bill passes, national control areas for the “protection of army bases” will diminish.

An Uri Party official said, “At present, there are too many control zones for the protection of military bases in MDL areas, such as Gangwon and Gyeonggi provinces, and this is often cited as a reason for property rights infringement.” He added that if the bill passes a special session of the National Assembly in June, it could take effect in the first half of next year.

According to a draft of the revised bill, the range of the CACL will be slashed to a 10-kilometer zone south of the MDL. This will transform the nation’s 68 million-pyeong control zones to restricted areas for protection, and the construction of new buildings will be possible after the consultation with military units.

In addition, around 20 million-pyeong of land will be removed from the protection zone category as the range of the protection zone for military facilities in the communications zone reduces as well. The control zone in the rear will be curtailed from 500 meter-range from the outer boundary line of military base to 300 meter-range, and the restricted area will be diminished from 1 kilometers from the outer boundary line of facility to the 500 meter-range, respectively.

The government and the ruling party decided to maintain the one to five kilometer-range for the ammunition dump, protection zone for communication facility and air base operation center.

In addition, the draft authorizes a land owner to exercise the purchasing right to the country when the land can’t be used for its original purposes due to the designation of protection zone. On the other hand, regarding a land that the government considers needs a direct management by it for the tactical reasons, the agreement-based purchase system will be introduced in which the government can purchase a property by consulting the price.

However, an official of the Ministry of Defense said, “The plan is literally a draft and didn’t go through the government -ruling party consultation session,” and said that the plan could be changed in the consultative meeting between the government and the ruling party. Regarding the statement, some point out that the plan could be the ruling party’s pork-barrel promise aiming at May 31st local election.

Prior to this, the Uri Party chairman Chung Dong-young and Uri Party’s policymaker Kang Bong-kyun said at the meeting for the Gangwon province policy held March 28th said, “the peace system between the two Koreas moved on to the extent that it doesn’t shake and we are not in the position to be afraid of the North’s invasion,” and promised that the Uri Party will remove the military iron fence that undermine the development in the Gangwon Province.