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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 11:10 AM

As US troops leave Seoul, a peek inside Korea's Yongsan military base

As US troops leave Seoul, a peek inside Korea’s Yongsan military base
The Yongsan military base was manned first by the Chinese then the Japanese and finally the Americans
As US troops move to Camp Humphreys, people are getting a glimpse inside
Park Chan-kyong SCMP

Published: 3:00pm, 9 Nov, 2019

...South Korea and the US have been pushing to complete the total relocation of their Combined Forces Command headquarters out of Seoul by 2021. By 2022, Camp Humphreys is expected to house nearly 45,000 people, including soldiers, contractors, and family members, who have long considered Yongsan a home away from home.

To date, Yongsan’s population has dropped from more than 25,000 to about 4,000. Its last major unit is set to move in the near future after a new hospital at Camp Humphreys opens in a few months, allowing the medical facility in Yongsan to close.

The tree-lined Yongsan garrison site, which contrasts with the bustling cement metropolis, will be transformed into a public park similar to New York’s Central Park.

South Korea paid US$10.8 billion to build the massive new US garrison in Pyeongtaek, billed as America’s largest overseas military base, occupying 15 sq km. When the land is returned, the US will have given back 178 sq km by consolidating more than 91 bases throughout the country into the two regional hubs of Pyeongtaek and Daegu...


Article on the history of Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, the protracted US base transition in South Korea, and its significance. Some nice photos with the report of interesting sites on the base compound. Not covered in the article is the environmental damage done to the land within the base and what the plans are to remediate and pay for the damage. Nor is there a discussion of the plans for construction of the new US embassy compound there and their progress or the associated USMC security unit and heliport associated with the new embassy compound.

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 24, 2017

The Department of State selected SHoP Architects of New York, New York for the design of the new U.S. Embassy complex in Seoul, Korea.

The multi-building complex will be situated on a 19.5-acre site in the Yongsan district of Seoul. The new complex will include a Chancery, support facilities and a Marine Security Guard Residence...


Overhead photo of Yongsan in Seoul Korea shown with hazardous hydrocarbon spill sites. JTBC News June 30, 2018

"JTBC is reporting 84 recorded incidents of diesel and JP spills at the former Yongsan base. Benzene levels in the water table are 162 times safe limits. It's clear from the MOU on environmental impact remedial measures agreed to by the US under the SOFA, that something needs to be done to correct the situation."


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