US, South Korea Reach Cost-Sharing Agreement on American Troops
Story Code : 920327
The proposed “Special Measures Agreement” is a six-year deal and will replace the previous arrangement that expired at the end of 2019.
There are about 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea for what Washington calls deterrence against North Korea.
Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s Foreign Minister, asserted that “both sides will make a public announcement and hold a tentative signing ceremony after completing internal reporting procedures.”
“The government will resolve to sign an agreement in a swift manner to resolve its vacuum that has lasted more than a year,” he added.
Meanwhile, a US State Department spokeswoman boasted that the new bilateral deal reflects President Joe Biden administration's “commitment to reinvigorating and modernizing” the US alliances all over the world in order to improve “shared security and prosperity.”
The spokeswoman said that the agreement included a “negotiated meaningful increase in host nation support contributions,” without clarifying on the amount of payment.
Under the previous agreement, she claimed, more than 90 percent of South Korea’s contributions to maintain the US military presence returned to its economy.
Seoul currently pays Washington about $920 million a year. Negotiations for a new agreement stalled when former US president Donald Trump demanded a total of $5 billion from South Korea and rejected Seoul’s offer to pay 13 percent more.