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New Town to Emerge in Osan to House US Army

ROK Ministry of Defense Date 2003-06-20

A five-million-pyong (16.5 million square meters) town will emerge in Osan, Gyeonggi Province by 2007 to host a U.S. army garrison to be relocated from Yongsan in Seoul.

The Gyeonggi provincial government said on Wednesday (June 18) that it would establish a new town to house 200,000 people, around 10,000 of whom will be American soldiers and their families.

"After considering public opinions on the project, we will designate the green areas as residential areas this year to build around 70,000 housing units around the region," said Han Hyun-kyu, vice governor of the province.

He said the project will cost around three trillion won and an additional seven or eight trillion won for the construction of housing units.

According to Han, the Korean campus of Maryland University and other middle and high schools will move to the region together with the garrison from Yongsan.

"The Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Forces Korea concur on the project," he said. The provincial government, the ministry and the U.S. army have held meetings three times since January to discuss the issue.

According to the relocation plan of American forces, around 6,000 military staff personnel are expected to move to the new site.

The provincial government plans to establish a bumper zone between the military camp and the residential zone to guarantee security of the U.S. facilities.

"The new site has a very extensive transportation infrastructure providing such conveniences as an express railroad, regular rail service and a highway _ all connecting to Seoul and Busan," Han said.

The vice governor said the region will host a station of the express railroad currently under construction.

There are some 36,000 U.S. troops in the Republic of Korea.

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