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US Wants Seoul to Pay Over $1Bln in 2019 for Deployment of Its Troops - Reports

Sputnik News

17:06 23.01.2019

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Washington has insisted that Seoul boost its spending related to maintaining the 28,500-strong US Forces Korea (USFK) to 1.35 trillion won ($1.2 billion) this year, a 41 percent increase from 2018 and more than South Korea is willing to consider contributing, South Korean media reported on Wednesday, citing a diplomatic source.

Washington and Seoul had 10 rounds of talks on the matter in 2018 but failed to reach a consensus on sharing the defenсe costs. South Korea, for its part, intends to keep the payment under 1 trillion won, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Another source of disagreement for the two parties is the duration of the contract. The news outlet said that the United States was seeking a one-year contract, while South Korea was pushing for three- to a five-year contract, the news outlet added.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that US allies should pay a fair price for the protection provided by Washington, which is why South Korea has been asked to sharply raise its contribution to support the USFK.

Since 1991, South Korea has been sharing the costs of maintaining the US military on its territory under the Special Measures Agreement (SMA). Each agreement has a duration of five years, and the last one expired on December 31. Since 1991 Seoul's contribution has increased from 150 billion won to around 960 billion won last year in light of Washington's tougher stance on helping its allies.


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