USFK denies local media reports of Humphreys expansion delay
SEOUL — Local media reports claiming that expansion plans for the U.S. military’s Camp Humphreys are stalled are incorrect, U.S. Forces Korea and the South Korean Ministry of National Defense stated Friday afternoon.
The Chosun Ilbo newspaper, quoting an anonymous “diplomatic source in Seoul,” reported that expansion talks are on hold because South Korea wants wartime command of its own troops. Humphreys plans have called for a Combined Forces Command headquarters building, but if that command is dissolved as the U.S.-South Korean military alliance transforms, the building won’t be needed, according to the Chosun Ilbo.
U.S. Army Gen. B.B. Bell, commander of the Combined Forces Command, has told Stars and Stripes that officials are considering creating two independent commands that would take advantage of U.S. air and naval powers but put USFK in a supporting role. He said he hopes to have a plan ready for approval at an October security consultative meeting between the two countries.
“The planning contractor briefed the prefinal draft of the plan to [South Korean] and U.S. officials Wednesday,” USFK spokesman Col. Franklin Childress said in an e-mail Friday. “Minor adjustments may have to be made to the plan once the details of wartime operational control are determined, but those changes are expected to be handled easily within the framework of the current plan.”
Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.