Prod­ded by Trump, Seoul to pay more for troop pres­ence

The New Indian Express - - WORLD -

South Korea said on Sun­day it agreed to hike its pay­ment for main­tain­ing Amer­i­can troops on its soil, set­tling a dis­pute with its long­time ally ahead of a sec­ond sum­mit be­tween the US and North Korea. The two coun­tries have been in a se­cu­rity al­liance since the 1950-53 Korean war, which ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty — with more than 28,000 US troops sta­tioned in the South to guard against threats from Py­ongyang. But US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has re­peat­edly com­plained about the ex­pense of keep­ing Amer­i­can forces on the penin­sula, with Washington re­port­edly ask­ing Seoul to dou­ble its con­tri­bu­tion to­ward costs. The ne­go­ti­a­tions ended with South Korea’s for­eign min­istry say­ing Seoul will pay about 1.04 tril­lion won (US$924 mil­lion) in 2019, 8.2 per cent more than what it of­fered un­der a pre­vi­ous fiveyear pact which ex­pired at the end of last year. The min­istry said that although the US had de­manded a “huge in­crease” in pay­ment, they were able to reach an agree­ment that re­flects “the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion of the Korean penin­sula”. “The two coun­tries reaf­firmed... the im­por­tance of a strong South Korea-US al­liance and the need for a sta­ble sta­tion­ing of the US troops,” it said in a state­ment.

AFP

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has re­peat­edly com­plained about the ex­pense of keep­ing Amer­i­can forces on the Korean penin­sula|

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