After years of squabbling over the difficulty, the US returned 12 American navy websites to South Korea on Friday. The transfer unblocks improvement efforts, however talks will proceed on who will shoulder environmental cleanup prices.
The 2 sides agreed on the return throughout a digital joint committee session of the Standing of Forces Settlement (SOFA), which governs the authorized standing of the 28,500 American troops within the nation.
“We reached the choice comprehensively, contemplating social and financial points within the communities brought on by the delays and their requests for the swift return,” mentioned Choi Chang-won, a vice minister of presidency coverage coordination.
Nevertheless, the handover plan for the 12 websites was finalized on the situation that the dialogue of clean-up prices continued, as a result of officers did not bridge variations on who would shoulder environmental cleanup prices.
US troops have been stationed within the nation for the reason that 1950-53 Korean Conflict amid the perceived risk from Pyongyang. Nevertheless, in recent times, the allies have disputed the price of sustaining US personnel at bases.
That is the important thing cause US Forces Korea (USFK) at the moment are returning simply 12 websites when, again in 2003, it had agreed handy over 80 websites to South Korea. The problems of decontamination procedures and base realignment stay unresolved.
Among the many websites to be returned, six are in Seoul. Two websites on the Yongsan Garrison within the metropolis heart housed the USFK headquarters till 2018.
The South Korean authorities plan to construct public housing in some areas, and the Nationwide Medical Heart in Seoul could possibly be relocated to the vacated website of the US Military Corp of Engineers, however decontamination of the returned websites should first be carried out.
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