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Yongsan relocation plan moving forward

By T.D. FLACK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 10, 2005

SEOUL — U.S. and South Korean officials signed an “implementing agreement” on the plan to relocate Yongsan Garrison and another agreement to protect Korean cultural properties on U.S. facilities, according to a U.S. Forces Korea news release.

Lt. Gen. Garry R. Trexler, USFK deputy commander, and Kim Sook, director general of South Korea’s North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, presided over the 184th meeting Thursday of the U.S.-South Korea Status of Forces Agreement Joint Committee on Yongsan Garrison.

The Agreed Recommendation for Yongsan Relocation Plan Engineering Memorandum of Understanding, and its appendix regarding master planning, were signed following a six-month consultation process, the release stated.

It establishes general “responsibilities and procedures for planning, programming, designing and constructing facilities required to support the relocation of USFK” from Seoul to Pyongtaek.

Additional sections to the memorandum, covering management of programs, design and construction, still are being negotiated.

“As soon as funding is provided by the ROK government for master planning, that process may now begin,” the release stated.

The officials also established a separate Cultural Properties Protection Subcommittee and tasked it to prepare procedures for exchanging information and to develop a plan to survey Korean cultural properties on USFK facilities.

At the meeting, Trexler expressed “deep condolences” for the June 10 death of a South Korean woman hit and killed by a U.S. Army vehicle in Dongducheon city, according to the release.

Officials also discussed “actions necessary to investigate and remediate environmental contamination at Kunsan Air Base, the timely completion of environmental surveys of USFK facilities and areas identified for return to the Korean government, the favorable progress of trial joint inspections of plant products, and the initiation of consultations regarding trial inspections of animal products,” the release stated.


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