B-157349, FEB. 1, 1967

B-157349: Feb 1, 1967

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RECEIPT OF WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY ACKNOWLEDGED. AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN THE LETTER DATED JULY 22. LEE WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE UNITED STATES AND UNITED NATIONS FORCES IN KOREA BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA FOR USE AS A ROCK QUARRY. IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT "ALL NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE OWNER AND/OR TENANT OF THE PROPERTY THUS ACQUIRED FOR THE US/UN FORCES SHALL BE BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND THE OWNER AND/OR TENANT OF THE PROPERTY.'. "THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THE PROPERTY WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE UNITED STATES AND UNITED NATIONS FORCES DOES NOT IMPOSE AN OBLIGATION ON THE UNITED STATES TO THE OWNER. THAT YOUR CLAIM IS NOT PROPERLY FOR ASSERTION AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

B-157349, FEB. 1, 1967

TO MR. SANG UI LEE:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1966, RECEIPT OF WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY ACKNOWLEDGED, REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION BY OUR OFFICE OF YOUR $165,316 CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, FOR ROCK REMOVED FROM YOUR QUARRY BY UNITED STATES FORCES IN KOREA DURING THE PERIOD 1957 TO 1964.

AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN THE LETTER DATED JULY 22, 1966, OF THE ASSISTANT JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, YOUR REQUEST FOR PAYMENT BY THE UNITED STATES HAD BEEN REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND DETERMINED NOT TO MERIT FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION. IN ADVISING THE UNITED STATES ARMY CLAIMS SERVICE, WHICH REFERRED YOUR CLAIM TO US, OF OUR ADVERSE DETERMINATION, WE STATED---

"THE PRESENT RECORD DISCLOSES THE PROPERTY OF MR. LEE WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE UNITED STATES AND UNITED NATIONS FORCES IN KOREA BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA FOR USE AS A ROCK QUARRY. IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT "ALL NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE OWNER AND/OR TENANT OF THE PROPERTY THUS ACQUIRED FOR THE US/UN FORCES SHALL BE BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND THE OWNER AND/OR TENANT OF THE PROPERTY.' AND FURTHER UNDERSTOOD "THAT ALL CLAIMS FOR RENT OR DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE OCCUPANCY AND/OR USE OF THE PROPERTY BY US/UN FORCES SHALL BE SETTLED WITH THE CLAIMANTS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA.

"THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THE PROPERTY WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE UNITED STATES AND UNITED NATIONS FORCES DOES NOT IMPOSE AN OBLIGATION ON THE UNITED STATES TO THE OWNER. NOR DOES IT APPEAR UNREASONABLE, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION AND RELATED INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS, TO VIEW THE FURNISHING OF THE PROPERTY INVOLVED AS A CONTRIBUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA TO THE JOINT EFFORT UNDER THE UNITED NATIONS OF MAINTAINING THE DEFENSE OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE FAIL TO SEE THAT THE PRESENT CLAIM, WITH RESPECT TO THE UNITED STATES, HAS "SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY" AS TO WARRANT REFERRAL TO THE CONGRESS PURSUANT TO 31 U.S.C. 236.'

AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE CONTENT OF YOUR LETTER TO US, AND THE ENCLOSURES THEREWITH, WE PERCEIVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO AFFIRM OUR ORIGINAL DETERMINATION, THAT YOUR CLAIM IS NOT PROPERLY FOR ASSERTION AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. YOUR CONTENTION, THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA IS RESPONSIBLE TO YOU ONLY FOR THE RENTAL AND INCIDENTAL DAMAGE TO YOUR PROPERTY AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS OBLIGATED TO PAY YOU FOR THE ROCK QUARRIED AND REMOVED, IGNORES THE FACT THAT YOUR PROPERTY WAS REQUISITIONED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF KOREA FOR USE AS A QUARRY AS WELL AS THE TERMS OF THE INTERGOVERNMENT AGREEMENT INCIDENT TO THE REQUISITIONING OF YOUR PROPERTY. NOR DO WE VIEW THE TERMS OF THAT AGREEMENT AS INCONSISTENT WITH THE SO-CALLED MEYER AGREEMENT, TO WHICH YOU REFER, BUT RATHER AS IMPLEMENTING THE LATTER.

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