Neoliberalism, Imperialism and Urban Development in South Korea (The Korea File)


Download mp3

In 2004, an agreement was reached between the United States and South Korean governments to move all U.S. forces in the country south of the Han River. This move will relocate the United States Forces Korea from the heart of Seoul to Camp Humphreys, outside the mid-sized city of Pyeongtaek, and to a second major garrison outside of Daegu. 

The process, scheduled to be completed next year, will consolidate more than 28,000 troops into two regional hubs and will transform Camp Humphreys into the largest U.S. Army garrison in Asia.

As the population of the garisson increases from 5,000 Soldiers and 7000 civilians, family members and contractors to more than 37,000 by 2016, civic authorities for the city of Pyeongtaek have developed ambitious plans for the expanding city including a major Samsung semiconductor chip plant, the world’s largest fuel cell power plant, an expanded maritime port, a free economic zone and tens of thousands of new housing developments. 

Bridget K. Martin, a PhD student in Geography at UC Berkley, is researching the links between Militarism and Urbanization in South Korea. 

In the first of a two-part interview she explains how American imperialism and Korean development, heavily connected since the end of the Korean War, are continuing to work together in new and surprising ways. 

Music on this episode: 영싸운드-등불

    The Korea File