S. Korea balks at Trump’s push over more funds for U.S. troops
WASHINGTON — South Korea is resisting a Trump administration demand for sharply higher payments to defray the cost of basing U.S. forces on its territory, raising fears that President Donald Trump might threaten a troop drawdown at a time of sensitive diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula.
U.S. negotiators have sought a 50 percent increase in Seoul’s annual payment, which last year was about $830 million, or about half of the estimated cost of hosting 28,500 U.S. troops, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the discussions.
South Korea is expected to make a counteroffer this month.
The standoff is straining the alliance as Trump plans a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to renew the U.S. push for elimination of Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.