Walls of Yongsan base start to come down
The walls of the former U.S. Army base in Yongsan District are starting to come down.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Friday, a 15-meter (49-foot) section of the walls around former U.S. officers’ quarters was demolished Thursday, the first step in opening that area to the public.
The wall came down to allow trucks to enter for construction and redevelopment.
The officers’ quarters have 16 buildings and 129 residential units on land of roughly 50,000 square meters (538,196 square feet).
The land was returned to the Korean government by the U.S. military in 1986. But the Korea National Housing Corporation, predecessor of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation, built the officers’ quarters and rented them to the U.S. military.
The lease ended at the end of last year.
The officers’ quarters will be redeveloped into a park, some of which will be opened in the second half of this year.
Parts of the quarters will be developed into an exhibition center, conference hall and rest area for visitors.
“The first demolition of part of the U.S. Yongsan base wall is a historic starting point in developing Yongsan Park,” said Land Minister Kim Hyun-mee. “We will do our best to return Yongsan Park to the public.”
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]