Go to contents

First step made to take over Yongsan military base from USFK

First step made to take over Yongsan military base from USFK

Posted December. 12, 2020 07:59,   

Updated December. 12, 2020 07:59


As the U.S. Forces Korea declined to pay expenses to clean up pollution at the Yongsan Garrison even after agreeing to relocating the military base, the transfer of the facility was delayed for 17 years. Finally, South Korea is set to take over 12 USFK sites in the country. Part of the Yongsan base has been handed over to Seoul for the first time since Seoul and Washington started the process to transfer 80 USFK sites according to the joint land management plan and the agreement on the transfer of the the U.S. military base in Yongsan they agreed during the Roh Moo-hyun administration in 2003. With the agreement signed on Friday, only 12 of the 80 USFK sites planned to be transferred have yet to be handed over.

The South Korean government said Friday that Seoul held the 201st joint meeting of the Status Forces Agreement virtually with Washington, and agreed to take over 12 USFK sites in the country. They include six places in Seoul such as the sites of Sports Field and Softball Park, Camp Kim in Yongsan District, the site of the US Army Corps of Engineers Far East District in Jung District, five sites in Gyeonggi Province, and one in Daegu.

Of the total area (measuring 2.03 million sq. meters) in the Yongsan Garrison, Seoul is taking over 25,000 sq. meters for now, which will be transformed into a park. “If we take over the entire area of the Yongsan Garrison, it could take long time. So, we have agreed to receive sites in phases over time by considering situation and conditions,” said a South Korean government official. Seoul plans to hold negotiation with Washington about the 12 sites in Yongsan to be returned.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com