US forces regained control of the four military bases in the South Korea after lengthy disputes over the elimination of pollution resulting from the use of these facilities, Yonhap reported.
"The four returned bases are Camps Eagle and Long in Wonju, 130 kilometers east of Seoul; parcels of Camp Market in Bupyeong, just west of the capital; and the Shea Range parcel at Camp Hovey in Dongducheon, just north of Seoul. They were already closed between 2009 and 2011," the source noted. "The allies made the agreement at the 200th joint committee meeting of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) at Camp Humphreys, a sprawling U.S. military complex in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul. SOFA governs the legal status of 28,500 American troops here."
According to Yonhap, in August, South Korean President Moon Jae In administration put forward an initiative to accelerate the transfer of 26 US military facilities amid local residents' concerns about possible delays in eliminating pollution caused by the long-term operation of the bases. The transfer of all US forces to two cities continues - Pyeongtaek and Daegu to increase the combat readiness and effectiveness of the contingent.
US troops have been in South Korea since the Korean War (1950-1953). The conditions of their stay are governed by an agreement on aid in mutual defense, signed on January 26, 1950 by the two states. According to official figures, the US Armed Forces bases are still available in 53 regions of the South Korea. The South Korean government is gradually moving them to a special army complex, whose area is 10 million square meters. By size, the base at Pyeongtaek will become the largest military facility in the United States in the world.