Under its land readjustment plan, the U.S. military has a plan to return to South Korea 40 million pyong of land (some 132 million sq. meters) currently used by its troops over the next 10 years. Under the "Land Partnership Plan (LPP)," the United States requested that in return the Korean government grant them 750,000 pyong of new land for their consolidated bases and training facilities. The plan calls for the closure of at least 15 large U.S. installations and training facilities in three areas.
It looks like the United States gives a big piece of the pie back to the Korean people-they return 40 million pyong of land to the Korean people! Actually, no! They do not. Of the proposed 40 million pyong of land to be returned, about 39 million pyong covers training facilities which have almost been abandoned by U.S. troops. Until now the USFK has just been holding that land to prohibit the Korean people's access.
In addition, most of the controversial bases and ranges are excluded from the U.S. military's new land plan. South Koreans have long called for the relocation or closure of the Yongsan Garrison and the Koon-ni shooting range in Maehyang-ri, and other U.S. facilities in downtown areas of large cities across the nation.
From an environmental perspective, how about the contaminated water and soil which is in 40 million pyong of land? A series of environmental accidents have happened on U.S. bases. Yongsan 8th garrison revealed that the soil and water had been seriously contaminated by oil. On Camp Indian, asbestos has been found.
South Korea does not know how much money we need for the restoration of the polluted area. We can not build a house or even a kindergarten for children on the returned land from the USFK.
USFK asks for 750,000 pyong of new land for base and training facilities. We say again, no! No more land for US military use. No more land for the practice of War. The land readjustment plan is nothing but part of the U.S.'s scheme to permanently station its forces on the Korean Peninsula and prepare for the MD (Missile Defense) plan.
The South Korean government and U.S. military will conclude their agreement on the issue at the annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) scheduled for November in Washington. Civic groups and local residents living near U.S. military facilities will demand a complete review of U.S. forces overseas. Under South Korea's ongoing land readjustment plan, people are vowing to fight until their demands are met. We are planning to use rallies and internet protests, among other tactics, against the U.S. Embassy and the Eighth U.S. Army, as well as to have a public hearing on the issue at the Korean National Assembly.
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