U.S. military’s Pyeongtaek move is prolongedThe complete relocation of U.S. Army bases to Pyeongtaek has been pushed back by two years to the end of 2018, Gyeonggi Province and Pyeongtaek City said Sunday.
The original plan, which started on Jan. 24, 2005, was to finish the relocation at the end of this year. The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) headquarters and the Eighth United States Army, both in Yongsan, central Seoul, and the 2nd Infantry Division in northern Gyeonggi Province, are subject to move to Camp Humphreys, a U.S. military garrison in the town of Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul.
“The construction has reached 93 percent of completion as of last month and the USFK headquarters and the Eighth Army are scheduled to move in around June-August as planned. But we’ve decided to extend the project by two more years to transfer all the facilities more smoothly,” a Defense Ministry official said.
A person close to the construction of the relocation site in Pyeongtaek said some of the building construction was being delayed because of the sheer size of the project, which involves building more than 900 buildings and city infrastructure, such as roads and a sewage system. The person added some of the army bases that are supposed to move delayed their plans as well due to “various situations.”
When the relocation is completed, the total number of people who live in Camp Humphreys, including U.S. soldiers, their family members and Korean soldiers, is said to reach 33,000 by 2018, from 13,000 this year. By 2020, it is expected to jump to 42,000. Yonhap