The UN Command and U.S. Forces Korea held a ceremony Friday morning to officially open their new headquarters at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do Province, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, with hundreds of key military officials, including South Korea's defense minister Song Young-moo and the Commander of UN Command and U.S. Forces Korea General Vincent Brooks.
"The current turning point on the Korean peninsula is the result of the ROK-U.S. alliance, a win without fighting, through overcoming lots of difficulties. In this new era, troops of the UN Command and U.S. Forces Korea stationed in Pyeongtaek will assume new missions that contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the world, as a stabilizing presence in Northeast Asia."
"Today marks a historic milestone in the history of the United Nations Command which began in 1950, and the history of the ROK-U.S. alliance. The UNC continues to be the home for the international commitment with the mandate to restore peace and security in the defense of the Republic of Korea. USFK will remain the living proof of the American commitment to the alliance."
General Brooks also expressed gratitude towards South Korea's financial contributions, saying Seoul covered over 90 percent of the nearly 11 billion US dollars that cost to build the complex.
President Moon Jae-in also sent a congratulatory message, stressing the ROK-U.S. alliance has been the foundation of not only the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula, but also the democratization and economic development of the South.
The new base covers over 14 square kilometers, or some 3560 acres.
When complete, it will contain military facilities, schools, hospitals and even golf courses.
"This is the largest overseas U.S. base in the world, currently accommodating some 23 thousand people, including U.S. military officials and their families,.. and the base is expected to grow to some 43 thousand people by 2022."
With the relocation, the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea are leaving Yongsan, their home for the past six decades, and plan to complete their move to Camp Humphreys, by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, the ROK-US Combined Forces Command will relocate to a building inside South Korea's defense ministry in central Seoul by the end of the year.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News, Pyeongtaek.