Or so claims the ever trustworthy Korean media:
Handed back to South Korea several months ago, a former American military base, Camp Kyle, remains a no-use area.
Only a small group of South Korean soldiers wearing anti-contamination suits and jackboots can be seen as they work to curb the spread of pollution in the vast land in the heart of this city, just north of Seoul. [Yonhap]
The ignorance of this Yonhap reporter Lee Chi-dong who wrote this article is quite evident if you have ever been to Camp Kyle, which judging by Lee’s article, he probably has not. First of all Camp Kyle is not a “vast land” in the heart of Uijongbu. Camp Kyle was one of the smallest camps in USFK which housed only two company sized units. You can see for yourself with pictures of the camp I took earlier this year, which I posted right here on the ROK Drop:
This is not a “vast land” as the Yonhap reporter claims. Uijongbu has park land bigger than Camp Kyle. If the reporter wants to see a military camp that covers a “vast land” then he needs to go to Camp Casey because Camp Kyle is far from it. The camp is also on the outskirts of Uijongbu, located along the southern slopes of Cheonbo Mountain which I took the above picture from, not in the heart of Uijongbu as the reporter claims. The closed out Camp Falling Water, which is even smaller than Camp Kyle, is the USFK camp located in the heart of Uijongbu:
The most absurd aspect of the article is that the camp is so contaminated that South Korean soldiers are wearing “anti-contamination suits and jackboots”. I actually spoke to Korean soldiers manning the front gate of Camp Kyle because I wanted to go in and take some pictures of the camp. The soldiers would only tell me that no one was allowed in because the camp was now “top secret”. Since I couldn’t go in I walked over to the near by pedestrian overpass to take pictures. From the overpass you can see right into the camp.
So can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture?:
If you guessed that the Koreans in the picture are not wearing their supposed “anti-contamination suits and jackboots” you would be correct. I did not see one person on the camp wearing any protective gear. If I would have known that the Yonhap reporter would write such a ridiculous article I would have taken more photographs complete with video footage.
The pollution claims are just as false as this article because US soldiers have been serving on these camps for decades without the need of “anti-contamination suits and jackboots” with no ill side effects. A Korean government representative from the Agriculture and Foresty Ministry actually praised the US military for cleaning the camps to a much higher standard than a comparable Korean military camp.
However, since USFK does not vigorously defend itself against blatant propaganda such as this from Yonhap, the conventional wisdom will now become that Camp Kyle is a “no use area” with people walking around in “anti-contamination suits and jackboots” even though I have shown this to be totally absurd.