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U.S. Embassy in S. Korea to mark its new site with tree-planting

SEOUL — The U.S. Embassy will hold a tree-planting ceremony Tuesday at U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan’s Camp Coiner to mark the site where a new embassy will be built.

However, no date has been set for construction to begin on the project, which will largely depend on when the military vacates Yongsan. Most U.S. troops in and north of Seoul are scheduled to relocate to U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys later this decade as part of a plan that will consolidate troops into two hubs in the Pyeongtaek and Daegu areas.

The relocation was originally scheduled to take place by 2008, but has faced repeated delays and is now scheduled for 2016. However, several U.S. senators have recently questioned the realignment plans and called for a review of those projects because of their cost.

Embassy spokesman Andy Jay said the U.S. and South Korea have been trying for years to finalize a location for a new embassy, which will replace the current building located in the heart of downtown Seoul and built in the mid-1960s.

“We outgrew (the current embassy) long ago,” he said.

The estimated cost and size of the new embassy were not immediately available on Friday.

The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m.

rowlanda@pstripes.osd.mil

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