U.S. forces in S.Korea moving to new military base to south of capital

Huang Panyue

SEOUL, July 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. forces in South Korea started moving to a new military base to the south of capital Seoul to integrate dispersed bases of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), according to local media reports.

The Eighth U.S. Army command of the USFK held an opening ceremony early Tuesday for its new headquarters at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 km south of Seoul.

It was part of the USFK's relocation plan, under which the USFK headquarters and the Eight U.S. Army in the Yongsan garrison in central Seoul as well as the 2nd Infantry Division to north of Seoul would be moved to their new bases in Pyeongtaek.

The Eighth U.S. Army is a permanently forward-deployed field unit of the USFK, the legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The USFK command was scheduled to be moved to the new base by the end of this year. Most of 28,500 U.S. forces stationed here would be moved to Pyeongtaek within this year.

The relocation plan was launched in early 2003 when then South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed to the relocation project.

Under the relocation project, 91 U.S. military bases here across the South Korean territory would be relocated into two main bases around Pyeongtaek and in the country's southeastern area.

The combined size of the U.S. military bases here will be reduced to 76.75 million square meters from the previous 241.97 million square meters after completing the relocation project.

For the project, the South Korean side will pay about 8.9 trillion won (7.7 billion U.S. dollars) for the costs, while the U.S. side will pay about 7.1 trillion won (6.1 billion U.S. dollars).


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