Cost of Relocating USFK Base Snowballs

Korea will have to foot a much higher bill than promised for the interminable project of relocating the U.S. Forces Korea headquarters in Yongsan, Seoul to Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, it emerged Tuesday.

The Defense Ministry now says Korea's share of the cost will be W8.89 trillion (US$1=W1,111) in construction costs and other expenses until 2016, around W3.3 trillion more than the cost agreed between Seoul and Washington in 2004 and ratified by the National Assembly.

Ministry officials on Tuesday said construction costs alone will amount to W5.341 trillion, and other expenses to W3.86 trillion. The construction cost estimate is W587.1 billion higher than the original estimate because it reflects the effects of rising consumer prices as well as the cost of relocating residents and interest payments, they claimed.

The other expenses include W1.1 trillion in support for the city, W700 billion to buy the land, W200 billion to build infrastructure for the base, W300 billion to clean up the new site, W100 billion to build homes, W250 billion for demolition, W100 billion in moving costs and around W890 billion in overheads.

The government has already spent W1.65 trillion, which includes the purchase of the land in Pyeongtaek.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 30, 2011 11:40 KST