A more detailed map of Pyeongtaek
Pyeongtaek (평택시, 平澤市, flat.marsh.city) is a city in Gyeonggi-do. Located in the southwestern part of the province, Pyeongtaek is a newly developed port city, founded in 1986. It is home to a South Korean naval base and a large concentration of United States troops. The Korean government plans to transform Pyeongtaek city to an international economic hub to coincide with the move of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) to Pyeongtaek.
The United States and South Korea Government came to an agreement to enlarge Camp Humphreys, a US Army installation located near Pyeongtaek, and move the majority of US forces stationed in Seoul and North of Seoul to the Camp Humphreys area. The South Korean government purchased the surrounding land, using eminent domain for the base expansion. The move also includes the headquarters of the Combined Forces Command, which has operational control of ROK (Republic of Korea), US, and UN combined forces during wartime. The US/ROK agreement allows USFK to move to one centralized location away from the congestion of Seoul and its surrounding areas. This relocation agreement results in returning two-thirds of the land currently used by the United States Military back to the Korean government. By 2008, the US Military will have consolidated 41 installations down to just 10 due to the relocation agreement.
The United States Forces Korea's only jail facility in South Korea is located at Camp Humphreys. To the North East of the Installation is the village of Anjung-Ri. As planned, Yongsan Garrison, located in Seoul, and the Second Infantry Division will be moved to the same area by 2008. The South Korean government's handling of the surrounding land has led to conflict with local farmers in Daechu-ri, Paengseong-eup due to the planned expansion of Camp Humphreys.
Recently, there have been heightened protests against the construction of the new USFK headquarters near Pyeongtaek. Moreover, authorities evicted protestors from occupying the elementary school and working the fields where the base will be built by placing barbed wire at the boundary of the future base.
Struggles erupted on May 4, when some 13,000 South Korean military soldiers and riot police arrived to guard the land where the new Camp Humphreys was to be built. Farmers could not get to their own land to cultivate their rice. When troops arrived to set up the fencing, residents moved in to block them. The activists claim South Korean military troops injured over 200 people and rounded up 500 more. However, none of the Soldiers were armed on this day and the riot police's main role was to prevent the protestors from attacking the soldiers. On May 5th, a undetermined amount of unarmed Korean Army soldiers were attacked by protestors with pipes and sticks after the riot police prevented the protestors from breaching the site. After a public outcry from the parents of some of the soldiers who were attacked, the government started to equip the soldiers with bamboo sticks and armor. It was the first time since the 1980 Gwangju massacre that the South Korean military, as opposed to riot police, were used against demonstrators.
Pro-expansion protests were also witnessed during this time but at a much smaller scale. The main arguments of the pro-expansion protests were that the protestors that were occupying the Daechu-ri Elementary School were not farmers from the local area but were from an organized anti-US civic group from outside of Pyeongtaek. They estimated that less than 10% of the individuals that were protesting the expansion of Camp Humphreys were actually farmers that were being evicted.
Osan Air Base is located in Songtan, a district in Pyeongtaek City.
Restaurants and Bars
Pyeongtaek has some decent nightlife, however, most people go to nearby Songtan for the variety of food choices and nightspots.
As the average Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants are in abundance throughout Korea and are easy for foreigners to find, the following restaurants reflect a sampling of restaurants considered to be either popular or are western-friendly choices and other ethnic foods.
Many foreigners gather at Indian Camp, a bar near the New Core Outlet.
Pyeongtaek Station is on Seoul Subway Line 1 and is 2 stops south of the popular Songtan area. The next major city on the subway line would be Anyang, which is a 25-30 minute ride. To reach central parts of Seoul, you need to transfer onto Seoul Subway Line 4 at Geumjeong Station, which is a 25 minute ride from Pyeongtaek. Line 4 is a 20 minute ride to Sadang Station, where you can transfer and reach the Gangnam district within a few stops. Or you can keep on Line 4 for another 5 stops to Samgakji Station, on Line 7, which is two stops away from Itaewon. And 2 stops further on Line 4 will be Seoul Station. Total commute from Pyeongtaek to Seoul Station would be about 1 hour.