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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

South Korea to pay more for U.S. troops

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South Korea to pay more for U.S. troops
South Korea to pay more for U.S. troops

South Korea will increase its contribution to the cost of U.S. forces stationed in the country under an agreement reached with the United States, the State Department said on Sunday, easing an irritant in ties between the two allies.

Bryan Wood reports.

South Korea has agreed to cover more of the cost to station American troops on the Korean Peninsula.

That's according to the U.S. State Department as part of a new deal between Seoul and Washington.

The U.S. has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea for defence against North Korea.

Under a previous deal, the State Department said more than 90% of Seoul's contribution went directly back to its own economy.

Negotiations since that deal expired in 2019 have been gridlocked.

Former President Donald Trump rejected Seoul's offer to pay $1 billion a year up from its current $920 million.

Trump demanded as much as $5 billion.

The State Department said the fresh deal negotiated an increase, but gave no further details.

It also said that the agreement reflects U.S. President Joe Biden's commitment to "reinvigorating and modernizing [the U.S.'s] democratic alliances around the world to advance our shared security and prosperity." If approved by South Korea's government, the proposed 'Special Measures Agreement' would last six years.

Its Foreign Ministry issued a statement confirming the agreement in principle without specifics.

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