ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on September 29th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Did Korea Pay More For Camp Humphreys Relocation Costs Than What Was Reported?

That is what Wikileaks has supposedly released that the South Korean media is now running with:

South Korea vastly under reported its share of the cost of a massive U.S. base relocation project to lawmakers and the public, according to U.S. diplomatic dispatches cited by the South Korean media Wednesday.

The dispatches, released by WikiLeaks, said Ministry of National Defense publicly stated that South Korea would pay for half of the project, but the U.S. estimated in 2007 that South Korea might be responsible for as much as 93 percent of the relocation to U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys, then estimated at $10 billion.

“We are aware of the press reports,” U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Col. Jonathan Withington said in an email on Wednesday night. “We do not comment on the authenticity of the documents released by WikiLeaks and we strongly condemn any continued, illegal disclosure of classified U.S. Government information.”  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but the overall costs of the relocation according to the article is $13 billion.

I really don’t believe the 93% number being thrown around considering that the GAO was critical of USFK earlier this year of the $18 billion in costs they were looking at in regards to the USFK transformation plan.  So if South Korea is paying upwards to $13 billion and USFK is paying $18 billion that sounds like cost sharing to me?

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  • Leon LaPorte
    7:33 pm on September 29th, 2011 1

    Meanwhile at Camp Casey: The main firehouse is being completely remodeled, there’s a brand new pool, various barracks renovations continue and the CCTT/sim center appears to be getting multiple new “pagoda” signs which cost somewhere between $30,000-$50,000 each. That’s right, they are signs. Just signs.

  • kushibo
    7:56 pm on September 29th, 2011 2

    Regarding the $13 billion versus $18 billion figures, doesn’t the $18 billion figure include the cost of bringing in families during three-year tours, which would mean expansion of housing, schools, hospitals, and other services?

    In other words, aren’t the two figures something of an apples-and-oranges comparison, at least in terms of cost-sharing?

    Asking, not saying.

    Anyway, I’d want to read the cables themselves to know if I put any faith in them. I tend not to trust potentially inflammatory claims made by the Korean press unless I can independently verify them.

  • Maj.America
    10:30 pm on September 29th, 2011 3

    93%? I call bull sh!%…..

  • Teadrinker
    2:10 am on September 30th, 2011 4

    Wikileaks is turning into Wikipropaganda.

  • Frank
    2:39 am on September 30th, 2011 5

    Leon, it’s been rumored for some time that Area I isn’t going anywhere even if Yongsan ever does move. Take it for what it’s worth.

  • Frank
    2:49 am on September 30th, 2011 6

    Also Leon, you’re a smart guy, have been reading your comments for years. I’m sure if you think about it hard enough, you can figure out why that type of senseless spending goes on.

  • Cloying Odor
    4:01 am on September 30th, 2011 7

    So… who exactly is getting rich off this boondoggle? I am sure ChickenHead can shed some light on this since he has his ear to the ground in that area of Korea. Which Anjung-ni mafioso does the AREA III commander play golf with?

    It’s funny… I was just at the Hump a few weeks ago and the area around the base looks exactly like it did 19 years ago when I landed in that shithole. Billions bilked from USFK and they can’t even be bothered to make the place look nice.

  • Frank
    4:16 am on September 30th, 2011 8

    Songtan and Itaewon might have a legit mafia, but anyone who claims that there’s one in Anjung-ri is kidding themselves. There are a few club owners who think and act like they’re mafia, but there’s not much more than a local group of business owners in Anjung-ri. You have the Hoon-yi in Pyongtaek, and they do have some influence in Anjung-ri, but it’s limited to a few individuals.

    As for who is getting rich it’s the big boys, the ones moving all the dirt, the ones constructing the buildings, and the real estate companies from Seoul who bought up most of the prime real estate years ago.

    With all due respect CO, there’s no way in hell that it looks the same as it did 19 years ago. It doesn’t even look the same as it did a year ago.

  • Cloying Odor
    4:31 am on September 30th, 2011 9

    Yeah it’s more built up.. but it still has that dreary run-down look to everything. Signs from the 1960′s… peeling paint… trash everywhere. It does not look modern. Sure the Bar area got a makeover but everything else still that same shanty-town feel to it. Maybe it’s just me.

  • Frank
    4:50 am on September 30th, 2011 10

    I was confused. I thought you were talking about on base. I agree with you. The ville is probably the same as it was 40 years ago.

    There was some type of pending legal action on certain areas of the ville. It may have been settled. I don’t know for sure. The government was trying to invoke imminent domain and pay local property owners pennies on the dollar for what their properties are worth so that a totally new town could be built. Building a new town is not such a bad idea but screwing those who currently own property out of it by invoking imminent domain was simply another attempt by “the haves” to take advantage of the “have nots.”

  • guitard
    6:03 pm on September 30th, 2011 11

    The government was trying to invoke imminent domain and pay local property owners pennies on the dollar for what their properties are worth so that a totally new town could be built.

    It wouldn’t be just Koreans getting screwed, because there are many Americans who own property in the Camp Hump area.

  • Frank
    6:16 pm on September 30th, 2011 12

    I agree Guitard. Not many people know about it, but the whole ordeal divided the ville into two camps, those who were potentially going to get screwed, and those who stood to benefit. Do you know if it’s been settled yet? I think it has but am not for sure.

  • Teadrinker
    5:36 pm on October 1st, 2011 13

    “As for who is getting rich it’s the big boys, the ones moving all the dirt, the ones constructing the buildings, and the real estate companies from Seoul who bought up most of the prime real estate years ago. ”

    Mob bosses are sometimes amongst or behind those big boys. My sources? I’m related by marriage to someone who was one of the very most influential mob bosses. Let me put it this way…He was most probably a billionaire. Ironically, his money was so well hidden and none of his businesses were registered in his name, so that when he died my in-laws didn’t see a dime of his vast fortune.

 

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