The Department of Defense announced today that representatives of the Republic of Korea and the United States finalized agreements to relocate all U.S. Forces from the Seoul Metropolitan Area to the Pyongtaek area. The decision was reached during the 10th round of the Future of the Alliance talks held in Washington D.C. this week. The agreement fulfills a commitment made by President Bush and President Roh at their summit meeting in Washington in May 2003.
There are approximately 8,000 U.S. servicemembers in the Seoul Metropolitan Area.
The relocation of U.S. forces out of Seoul will be completed by December 2008.
U.S. and ROK representatives also finalized amendments to the Land Partnership Plan that allow for the eventual relocation of 2nd Infantry Division from its existing camps north of Seoul to enduring facilities in the Pyongtaek area, approximately 50 miles south of Seoul. A final decision on the timing of the 2nd Infantry Division relocation will be decided by the respective national leaders at a later date, taking careful account of the political, economic and security situation on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
This relocation agreement helps us meet our enduring commitment to the defense of Korea and to the security and stability of the region, said Richard Lawless, the U.S. deputy under secretary of defense for Asia Pacific affairs.
The delegations were led by Lawless, from the U.S. Department of Defense, Evans Revere, from the U.S. Department of State, Ahn Kwang Chan, from the ROK Ministry of National Defense, and Kim Sook, from the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense release located at this link:
Result of the Tenth Meeting of Future of the ROK-US Alliance Policy Initiative