SEOUL — To combat what it sees as disinformation about Yongsan Garrison’s 2008 closure, South Korea’s government is printing and distributing a pamphlet it says sets the record straight on several contentious issues.

The 21-page pamphlet’s title translates roughly as “Discuss when you know the facts.” It’s split into sections answering 17 questions about the Yongsan move. Among them: Why is the base moving? Why should South Korea pay for moving a U.S. base? Who cleans up any environmental damage left behind?

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials involved in the negotiations over U.S. realignment plans provide the answers.

“Having an active debate and discussion of important issues facing the nation is believed to be the foundation for a sound democratic country but such a debate and criticism should be made on the basis of a true and correct understanding of the facts,” reads a translation of the introduction, written by Jung Hae-ung, MOFAT’s treaty chief.

The ministry has printed 500 copies of the booklet and distributed them to government offices, the National Assembly, dozens of news outlets and other groups, said Yu Bok-gen of MOFAT’s Treaty Department.

Copies still are being distributed, he said.

Closing Yongsan Garrison, while supported by much of the South Korean public, also has sparked fears of a “security vacuum” by moving U.S. forces south of Seoul, some public officials and others have indicated. U.S. officials repeatedly have countered that assertion, saying the military capabilities of U.S. forces have been greatly improved.

A second concern South Koreans have expressed, in polls and through South Korean media, is who pays for the move. Earlier this year, a National Assembly committee estimated shifting the bases would cost almost $4 billion; under previous agreements, South Korea bears all of that cost.

The first line of the pamphlet’s conclusion says simply, “The cost of relocating Yongsan Garrison is the cost of our security and safety.”

“National Life is much more significant than National Wealth,” the booklet reads.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.

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