B-157349, NOV. 2, 1965

B-157349: Nov 2, 1965

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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.

B-157349, NOV. 2, 1965

TO COLONEL PAUL J. LEAHY, JAGC, CHIEF, U.S. ARMY CLAIMS SERVICE, OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1965, JAGD, FORWARDING FOR OUR CONSIDERATION, UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. 236, THE CLAIM OF MR. SANG UI LEE OF KOREA FOR ROCK REMOVED FROM HIS QUARRY BY UNITED STATES FORCES IN KOREA DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 26, 1957, TO SEPTEMBER 25, 1964.

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.

CONSEQUENTLY, WE MUST DECLINE TO TAKE SUCH ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THE CLAIM OF MR. LEE.

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