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`U.S. to Finish Base Relocation in Korea by 2016`

Posted November. 19, 2008 02:59,   


The United States has reportedly delivered to Korea its final plan to relocate U.S. troops from Seoul`s Yongsan Garrison and frontline bases in Gyeonggi Province to Pyeongtaek by 2016.

Officials close to the matter said yesterday that Washington by 2015 will complete the relocation of Yongsan Garrison and move by 2016 the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and artillery regiment in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province.

“Korea wants to complete the relocation by 2014 or 2015 at the latest. But Washington said it’s impossible to advance the schedule due to budget and technical problems,” one source said.

The U.S. Forces Korea reportedly said that along with 1.12 trillion won (830 million U.S. dollars) accumulated since 2002, Seoul’s share of U.S. troops’ stationing costs that has been or will be paid will go to the relocation.

“According to the plan, Washington set aside 1.5 trillion won (1.04 billion dollars) for the project,” another source said. “(Korean) Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee and U.S. Forces Korea Commander Walter Sharp have recently discussed the matter, including the schedule and expenses.”

Former U.S. Forces Korea Commander Burwell B. Bell told the U.S. House of Representatives in March that of the ten billion dollars needed for the relocation, the United States will spend 1.4 billion dollars to build residential facilities for soldiers and their families.

The relocation will cost 10 trillion won (6.96 billion dollars) and Korea’s share is expected to be six trillion won (4.17 billion dollars), including one trillion won (696 million dollars) for land purchases.

Both countries will finish negotiations on the detailed schedule and cost-sharing before the end of the year.