Military reaching out to Pyeongtaek
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The U.S. military says it wants to lower the risk that work to expand Camp Humphreys might trigger friction with the local community of the kind that plagued the project until recently.
Project officials “will solicit community concerns, listen to those concerns, and address those concerns by using the appropriate means at the time,” said Army Lt. Col. Brodrick J. Bailey, plans officer for U.S. Forces Korea public affairs.
“Likewise, we want to be able to put our concerns forward and make sure that they are understood in the context that we present them,” he said.
Officials are shaping a plan that will call for a robust public relations effort to include continual contact with South Korean officials, community groups, and news organizations through in- person meetings, community briefings and public service announcements, among other measures.
Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek is scheduled to expand in coming years onto a vast tract of nearby land and become the U.S. military’s flagship installation on the peninsula under a South Korea-U.S. agreement. The agreement also calls for the bulk of U.S. forces to eventually leave Seoul and the area to its north and move to Camp Humphreys.
The expansion had drawn fire from anti-U.S. activist groups that had wanted it scrapped, and spawned violent anti-expansion rallies near Camp Humphreys in 2005 and 2006.