ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on December 13th, 2006 at 2:49 am

Camp Humphreys Relocation to Be Delayed?

UPDATE: Nomad is absolutely “shocked” by the Camp Humphreys delay announcement.

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Will this be the straw that broke the camel’s back of the US-ROK Alliance? From the Marmot’s Hole:

A government source told Yonhap that it looks like transfer of the U.S. garrison at Yongsan to Pyeongtaek, originally scheduled to take place in 2007, would be delayed by five years to late 2013.

A source from one of the related government ministries said the possibility of completing the transfer by 2008 as scheduled was currently low, and that Korean government ministries handling the move were actively discussing a plan to delay the transfer from Yongsan and the competition of new base facilities in Pyeongtaek to 2013.

The government will reportedly announce this plan sometime next week.

The source said the change in schedule was necessary due to delays in discussions between authorities connected to the move and setbacks caused by protests from residents and civic groups.

I agree with Robert’s analysis that the Korean government is trying to stop the relocation since Secretary Rumsfeld has been removed from the Pentagon. They are testing the new Defense Secretary Robert Gates who is scheduled to be sworn in on December 18th.

Those of us who have served in Korea for awhile knew the 2008 timeline wasn’t going to happen, but 2013 give me a break? The Korean government has never wanted to allow the USFK relocation to Camp Humphreys just like they have never really wanted to take operational control from USFK either. Both the Yongsan and the operational control issues have long served as great cannonfodder by South Korean politicians looking to demagoge the issue to their own political advantage. Plus the Koreans have never wanted to fully fund the move despite all the prime real estate they are gaining from the closed out USFK facilities. Heck they won’t even properly fund the US-ROK Alliance while giving over a billion dollars to North Korea a year!
You also have the Fifth Column in South Korea, organized by North Korean agents that want to stop the move because North Korea wants to keep 2ID and USFK locked into their current locations that are well within artillery range of North Korea which would mean their easy destruction during war time. Additionally the locations of the bases, particularly Yongsan have been completely surrounded by urban cities which has led to accidents and incidents with the Korean public that gets demagoged by the North Korean sponsored anti-US activists groups in order to draw a wedge between USFK and the general Korean public. The consolidation of US forces would remove all US forces out of North Korean artillery range and additionally under the ballistic missile protection of US Army PATRIOT missile batteries. This would create better force protection for USFK forces along with giving USFK commanders more flexibility during war time.

It will be interesting to see the Pentagon’s reaction if this 2013 timeline is true. I tend to think that the Pentagon would accept a 2009 relocation time line that would coincide with a 2009 handover of operational control. A 2013 timeline is just an effort to further push this issue down the road and hope the Pentagon gives up on it just like what the Korean government is doing with the operational control issue.
I think it may be close to ultimatum time. Is it too late to bring General Trexler out of retirement?

- 3,469 views
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  • Kingkitty
    12:49 am on December 13th, 2006 1

    Well thats a good thing we spent all that cash on re-surfacing all the roads at Youngsan and Stanley not to mention redoing the roof at the Dragon. Finally we will get our moneys worth instead of what we did at PAGE…..Brand new Theater …..then closed

    I love the Army

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    1:48 am on December 13th, 2006 2

    I was involved with the camp closeouts in 2004-2005 and many of the renovations and improvements were done during this period because the contracts had already been awarded before the camp closures were decided on. So if USFK didn't have the improvements done they would still be obligated to pay the contractors for doing nothing. So instead of doing that they had the contractors do the work anyway and if suddenly things get delayed liked with what is currently happening then at least the soldiers have the improvements that were done.

  • Richardson
    5:46 am on December 13th, 2006 3

    I think the veracity of the rumor needs to be verified first. After all, it could be untrue.

    Second, I doubt the U.S. would let the ROKG unilaterally delay the move at this stage. I know that a lot of planning has been done, as well as some leasing and construction.

    I think if the ROKG tries this, they will end up losing face and the move will still happen, although it likely still will take longer than the original time allotted.

  • OneFreeKorea » South Korea’s Government (and North Korea’s Agents) Try to Veto USFK Restructuring
    7:19 pm on December 13th, 2006 4

    [...] The Korean Defense Ministry is now saying that it may delay the move, of U.S. Army forces out of Seoul and North Korean artillery range, from 2008 to 2012.  I tend to agree with what Richardson, GI Korea, and Robert Koehler say about this, and will refer you to their posts to the extent you haven’t already read them.  Beyond my general agreement that 2008 clearly wasn’t going to happen, I’ll only add some observations that aren’t reduntant to theirs. [...]

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    12:32 pm on December 13th, 2006 5

    I think these rumors are true because it makes since they would now between the transition of Rummy and Gates and during the X-mas season to drop this bomb hoping the media won't notice and the Pentagon to preoccupied with transition to aggressively pursue the issue.

    The Pentagon I think would go for 2009 in conjunction with a 2009 handover of operational control, I can't imagine the Yongsan issue hanging out there until 2013. The Gravy Train has to end at some point.

  • usinkorea
    11:21 pm on December 13th, 2006 6

    "I was involved with the camp closeouts in 2004-2005 and many of the renovations and improvements were done during this period because the contracts had already been awarded before the camp closures were decided on. So if USFK didn’t have the improvements done they would still be obligated to pay the contractors for doing nothing. So instead of doing that they had the contractors do the work anyway and if suddenly things get delayed liked with what is currently happening then at least the soldiers have the improvements that were done."

    That is a golden nugget of information to file away…..

    Where is Hard-n-Tiny these days? He usually had some good nuggets on these issues we could pick up elsewhere……..

    Is he still out there????

  • Kingkitty
    12:26 am on December 14th, 2006 7

    Hummm maybe those making the contracts need to be canned,,,,,The good folks at Camp Page and Yongsan and Stanley were/are aware of the impending closures. Sounds like kick backs and bribes are paving roads at a camp destined to close in less than a year

    Yes this contract issue is a pet peave of mine. The Humphreys Commisary. Before construct even began we known of the Humphreys expansion plan yet still they made this tiny store set to serve Thousands of people…..WTF

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    3:10 am on December 16th, 2006 8

    There has been plenty of crooked contracting in USFK which is evident by the number of field grades sent to jail in recent years for corruption. Most recently the SSRT internet scandal. So if there is still some corruption going on, I wouldn't be surprised.

  • USFK: Camp Humphreys Expansion on Schedule at ROK Drop
    11:26 am on December 19th, 2006 9

    [...] We have yet to hear anything from the Pentagon yet on the South Korean government power play to delay the Camp Humphreys expansion to 2013, but a USFK spokesman says things are going to continue as planned: [...]

  • South Korean Court Rules Hold Outs Must Leave at ROK Drop
    4:01 pm on December 20th, 2006 10

    [...] The fact that no timeline has been set could be used to further delay the Camp Humphreys expansion which is what the South Korean government is trying to do. [...]

  • Korean Government Cuts Funds for USFK Relocation at ROK Drop
    5:31 am on December 28th, 2006 11

    [...] While the Pentagon has remained silent about the announcement from the Korean government that they plan on delaying the USFK relocation until 2013, the Korean government has gone ahead and cut funding from next year’s budget for the project: [...]

  • General Bell to “Fight” Any USFK Relocation Delays at ROK Drop
    4:14 pm on January 10th, 2007 12

    [...] We had some hints before that USFK was not happy about the announced Camp Humphreys delay and cutting of funds by the South Korean government and finally, the USFK commander has come out fighting: [...]

  • Korean Government Warns USFK Commander Over “Undiplomatic” Remarks at ROK Drop
    5:34 pm on February 1st, 2007 13

    [...] Why do I say General Bell is doing his job well you may ask?  It is because he is pissing off the Korean government which is a sure sign that he is not about maintaining the status quo, business as usual USFK relationship in Korea and the Foreign Ministry knows it.  Remember the Korean government is all about maintaining the status quo for reasons I have listed before here.  Apparently the Foreign Ministry doesn’t have the courage to tell General Bell what they think about him themselves, so in order to under cut him, the ministry has decided to complain to the State Department representative visiting Seoul about him.  I hope the State Department won’t entertain this crap from the Korean Foreign Ministry, but the State Department has a track record for entertaining characters that they shouldn’t.  Need I bring up Madeline Albright toasting Kim Jong-il for one obvious example? [...]

  • The Policy of Irrelevancy at ROK Drop
    9:04 pm on February 6th, 2007 14

    [...] If the Korean government cherished the US-ROK alliance so much then why did the Korean government unilaterally declare that the Camp Humphreys relocation is going to be delayed by 5 years from the agreed upon date and then not notify the USFK commander?  General Bell first found out about the decision by reading the newspaper.  If the Korean government cared about the US-ROK alliance why did they cut the agreed upon money for the upkeep of the US-ROK alliance only weeks after making a cost sharing agreement?  [...]

  • MilBlogs (Daily Archive)
    9:58 am on April 7th, 2007 15

    [...] the Korean government is all about maintaining the status quo for reasons I have listed before here. Apparently the Foreign Ministry doesn’t have the courage to tell General Bell what they think [...]

  • “Abnormal” Japan at ROK Drop
    7:39 am on April 17th, 2007 16

    [...] First of all, isn’t unilaterally declaring that the Camp Humphreys relocation is going to be delayed by 5 years from the agreed upon date between the US and Korean governments and then the USFK commander first [...]

  • US Congressmen Challenge US-ROK FTA at ROK Drop
    9:07 am on May 16th, 2007 17

    [...] last year after long negotiations only to be unilaterally changed by the Korean government (see here & here) when they saw an opportunity to do so to their advantage when former Secretary of [...]

  • Civic Groups "Vanguard of Smear Campaigns" at ROK Drop
    6:55 pm on June 29th, 2007 18

    [...] Range protests.  The tactics of these groups continues this day with their activities to stop the USFK relocation at Camp Humphreys along with their claims of pollution on vacated USFK [...]

  • Another Deadline for North Korea to Violate is Announced at ROK Drop
    10:44 am on January 15th, 2008 19

    [...] it just me or is are the North Korean nuclear talks strangely similar to USFK transformation and war time control talks with South Korea?  It is a constant delay game with the United States [...]

  • Camp Humphrey Relocation Could Be Delayed to 2016
    9:13 pm on June 12th, 2008 20

    [...] Korean government has never wanted the USFK relocation to happen for a variety of reasons and the only reason it has gotten as far as it has was because of former Defense Secretary Donald [...]

  • What Will Be Built First Songdo or Camp Humphreys?
    9:41 am on July 4th, 2008 21

    [...] city on reclaimed ocean to the current progress to expand Camp Humphreys which has been hit with delay after delay by the Korean government. The Camp Humphreys expansion was agreed upon in 2004 and if [...]

  • Korea Continues to Delay Cost Sharing Deal
    1:45 am on July 23rd, 2008 22

    [...] Korean government has never wanted the USFK relocation to happen for a variety of reasons and the only reason it has gotten as far as it has was because of former Defense Secretary Donald [...]

 

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