Korea Offered U.S. Alternative to Okinawa Base, Report Claims

      August 20, 2010 11:31

      President Lee Myung-bak told U.S. President Barack Obama at the G20 Summit in Canada in June that his government could offer an alternative site if Japan throws the U.S. Marines out of their base in Okinawa, the monthly Bungeishunju reported.

      The magazine said Lee voiced concern over tensions between Washington and Tokyo when then-Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama sought to relocate the base from the island. It said Lee pledged to offer a military facility in Korea "in the worst-case scenario."

      But Cheong Wa Dae dismissed the report. Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Hong Sang-pyo in a statement said the story was "a complete fiction," and presidential spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung told reporters, "There were no meetings between the two leaders in Canada aside from the summit, which was attended by many official from both sides. No such comments were made and there were no opportunities to make them."

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