May 23, 2024

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South Korea accepts 12 former U.S. military bases

Dec. 11 (UPI) — The United States officially returned 12 previous military services bases to South Korea, but concerns are currently being elevated about environmental contamination, in accordance to South Korean push studies.

The two militaries agreed to the handover on Friday through a virtual conference, but ended up unable to address an impasse in excess of expenditures of any cleanup on bases like Yongsan Garrison in central Seoul, Yonhap and Hankook Ilbo claimed.

Conversations finished immediately after the two sides agreed to continue expense sharing negotiations. A South Korean federal government formal who spoke to reporters Friday reported 24 out-of-use bases returned in the past charge Seoul about $202 million in decontamination fees.

South Korea’s environmental ministry has beforehand stated harmful substances, like benzene, arsenic, and guide, have been discovered in the soil and h2o on bases.

Officers in Seoul also inspectors located oil air pollution and significant metal contamination on 11 out of the 12 bases that ended up returned Friday, in accordance to Hankook Ilbo.

South Korean advocacy groups say the cleanup of the 12 bases would price tag about $275 million. Government sources mentioned the U.S. armed service would seem into price sharing only immediately after South Korea addresses the preliminary fees, the report states.

Seoul could be keen to go forward with the cleanup, specifically at Yongsan, where by options have been formulated to establish new households, most likely substantial-rises to make up for the lack of residences in the capital.

Authorities resources who spoke to Yonhap Friday claimed the pollution issue will have to be settled to start with to warranty the housing offer.

The administration of President Moon Jae-in has arrive beneath criticism for actual estate guidelines that have unsuccessful to management skyrocketing housing charges. Desire is best in Seoul, wherever most people settle for operate and training.

Shin Soo-yeon, an activist for Eco-friendly Korea United, said Friday Seoul is downplaying environmental fears immediately after the return of the bases.

Other activists said the U.S.-South Korea Position of Forces Settlement is unfair, and Seoul should really have strengthened environmental specifications in advance of the return of bases, according to Hankook Ilbo.