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U.S. reportedly asks S. Korea to pay US$ 1.3 bil in defense cost sharing

Updated: 2020-05-08 09:58:56 KST

U.S. Presient Donald Trump has once again stressed that South Korea has agreed to pay a significant amount in defense cost-sharing, as he continues to pressure Seoul to increase its share of the cost of stationing American troops on the Korean peninsula.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, he also explained other countries should respect Washington by paying more in defense cost.

His remark comes as Washington has reportedly suggested Seoul pay 1.3 billion U.S. dollars a year for defense cost-sharing.

This is a sharp reduction from the five billion dollars the Trump administration mentioned initially, but it's still a whopping 50 percent increase from what South Korea paid last year.

Asked by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency on Thursday, a senior Trump administration official said it's quite a reasonable amount, adding Seoul can and should contribute a fair amount.

The nominee for the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary for policy, James Anderson, also called for Seoul to shoulder a larger amount of the defense cost.

In a written statement addressing questions by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee ahead of his confirmation hearing on Thursday, he explained that this is inevitable as the allies must be prepared for more numerous and complex challenges together.

Regarding the ongoing defense cost-sharing negotiations with Washington, Seoul's foreign ministry said Thursday that the agreement must be reasonable and fair for all sides.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Kim In-chul explained there are differences in perspective between the allies.

However, he refrained from commenting on Washington's latest request for South Korea to pay 1.3 billion dollars.

Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.

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