Trump reportedly demanding more funding from Korea for American troops’ presence

11-Dec-2018 Intellasia | The Hill | 6:00 AM Print This Post

President Trump is demanding that South Korea increase their funding for American troops deployed on the peninsula, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The demand has reportedly soured negotiations over the Special Measures Agreement, a defense pact between the two countries.

The Special Measures Agreement’s five-year contract expires December 31 and currently requires South Korea to pay $830 million per year to the US for the more than 28,500 American troops based in the country.

The Journal reports that Trump is pushing for between $1.2 and $1.6 billion per year.

 (The Hill)

(The Hill)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been telling his county’s officials that he isn’t willing to pay more, according to the report, and leaders of the top five political parties have reportedly said they can’t absorb an increase.

A representative from the State Department declined to comment to The Hill on internal deliberations, but noted that the agency released a statement on the SMA in March which indicated that “both delegations are committed to developing an agreement that strengthens the US-ROK Alliance and that ensures the security of the ROK and its people.”

The friction with Seoul comes as the US is heavily pursuing North Korean denuclearisation. Talks between the US and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have stalled lately as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim canceled a meeting last month.

However, Moon and his northern counterpart are planning a summit and have already made significant moves toward warming relations.



Category: Korea

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