State ordered to compensate Pyeongtaek for clean-up costs near US base

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 6, 2017 - 09:49
  • Updated : Nov 6, 2017 - 09:49
The government has been ordered to pay 870 million won ($778,800) to the city of Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, for the cost of purifying the soil near a US base there, a court ruled Monday. 

The Seoul Central District Court upheld the city's claim against the central government, ruling that the state should pay its expenses for cleaning the soil near Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, as mandated in the Status of Forces Agreement with the US.

SOFA mandates that the South Korean government is responsible for any damages incurred from the stationing of US troops in surrounding areas. 

This file photo, dated July 11, 2017, shows Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

However, the court dismissed a similar claim by the city relating to the US Air Force base in Osan, just north of Pyeongtaek and also under its jurisdiction, citing a lack of evidence.

The Pyeongtaek city authorities said they have spent over 1 billion won on the purification of earth near the two US bases, based on an environmental survey conducted by the government between 2013 and 2014. The study showed levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons, zinc and nickel exceeding the permissible threshold. (Yonhap)