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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea – Negotiations between the United States and South Korea on a master plan for U.S. base relocations to Camp Humphreys should be wrapped up as soon as next week, according to a South Korean government agency.

“We are currently last-stage negotiating with our U.S. counterpart on a master plan, with the end of February as our target time,” according to a news release confirmed by a Stars and Stripes interview with the South Korean Office for Government Policy Coordination.

A lead project-management contractor should be agreed upon by May, South Korean officials said.

However, officials also said due to the negotiations’ nature, target dates always could change.

U.S. Forces Korea officials declined to name a date for the end of the ongoing master-plan negotiations.

Once finished, the master plan will include details on cost sharing and construction for relocating U.S military bases in Seoul and Area I to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek.

The move originally was scheduled after agreements with USFK for 2008 but South Korean officials said in January that relocation could be delayed until 2013.

Officials have blamed the delays on Pyeongtaek protestors, difficulty acquiring the necessary land from farmers and other local owners and disagreements over cost sharing.

Shortly after that announcement, USFK commander Gen. B.B. Bell decried the delays, specifically citing shoddy living conditions for U.S. servicemembers in Area I. Most Area I soldiers serve in South Korea without their families.

Various media reports have quoted unnamed South Korean officials as saying that the 2013 timetable could be pushed forward to 2011 or 2012 if the right details are agreed upon.

Earlier this month, the last Pyeongtaek residents who held out against the Camp Humphreys expansion agreed to sell their property and leave by March 31. The South Korean Ministry of Defense told Stripes Thursday that preparation for road construction began this week.

Camp Humphreys is expected to triple in size once construction is completed, according to earlier plans.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.

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