By Jung Sung-ki
South Korea and the United States have reached a deal on the return of a U.S. base in Busan to Korea after four years of negotiations, a foreign ministry official said Thursday.
Camp Hialeah was closed in 2006 to be returned to Korean citizens under an agreement between Seoul and Washington to return most U.S. military bases and installations to South Korea and instead build a few hub bases south of the Han River.
The Hialeah return had been stalled, however, because of differences over who will pay for the environmental cleanup of the base vacated.
The official said South Korea will spend money to clean up the base.
There is no clear clause regarding cleanup costs in the ROK-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), and this has been a constant source of friction in the relocation of U.S. bases.