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Esper Says South Korea 'Can, Should' Increase Payment for US Troops Stationed There

Sputnik News

07:24 GMT 15.04.2020(updated 08:00 GMT 15.04.2020)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - South Korea has the capability and should pay more for the US military stationed in the country, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

"My view remains that South Korea is a close and trusted ally of ours, but they are another country. They can and should pay more to help for our regional defence and their specific defence", Esper said during a briefing.

According to the official, the State Department is leading the talks with Seoul on the matter.

The United States and South Korea are negotiating the extension of their cost-sharing deal dubbed Special Measures Agreement (SMA). Under the previous agreement, Seoul paid $870 million, however, the US has demanded that South Korea increase their payment to $5 billion under the new SMA.

© Sputnik

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