March 21, 2007 09:18
The Defense Ministry said it will cost about W10 trillion to relocate several U.S. military bases, including the Yongsan Garrison and the 2nd U.S. Infantry Division, to a new base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province (US$1=W942). South Korea will pay W5.59 trillion of the total cost.
South Korean and U.S. military authorities have agreed to finish the relocation, which was previously slated for the end of 2008, by 2011 or 2012 when construction on the new base is scheduled to be done. Army Maj. Gen. Kwon Haing-keun, chief of the Defense Ministry's base relocation bureau, revealed the plan on Tuesday.
South Korea is expected to spend W4.58 trillion on construction and W1.01 billion for land for the military base, for a total of W5.59 trillion. The U.S. will bear a similar cost for relocating their bases from the outskirts of Seoul.
The Pyeongtaek base, measuring 3.3 million sq.m, will consist of 500 buildings, including the headquarters of the U.S. Forces Korea, the 8th U.S. Army Command, an operations command room, senior officers' quarters and a hospital. The facilities will accommodate 44,370 personnel, including 17,030 American soldiers.
The Defense Ministry will seek approval for the plan from a joint committee of the Status of Forces Agreement this month. It will select Program Management Consortium firms to run the project around May and finish building a road, 8 meters wide and 1.8 kilometers long, for the project by August.
An archaeological survey to check for artifacts and a geological study will be conducted at the Pyeongtaek site for six months if local residents finish moving out this month. Ground-leveling work will begin around September.
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