US and South Korea agree on new cost-sharing deal for troops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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US and South Korea agree on new cost-sharing deal for troops

Soldiers gather around K-9 self-propelled howitzers in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, March 7, 2021. The South Korean and U.S. militaries are scaling back their annual exercises this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to support diplomacy focusing on North Korea's nuclear program, officials said Sunday.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
March 07, 2021 - 9:00 PM

WASHINGTON - The United States and South Korea have reached an agreement in principle on a new arrangement for sharing the cost of the American troop presence, which is intended as a bulwark against the threat of North Korean aggression.

The State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs said the deal includes a “negotiated increase” in Seoul's share of the cost, but it provided no details. The Bureau wrote on Twitter that the agreement if finalized would reaffirm the U.S.-South Korean treaty alliance as “the linchpin of peace, security and prosperity for Northeast Asia.”

The negotiations had broken down during the Trump administration over a U.S. demand that Seoul pays five times what it previously had paid. The State Department said in a statement that the increase in the South’s share of the cost was “meaningful."

The U.S. keeps about 28,000 troops in South Korea.

The Wall Street Journal, which was the first to report the agreement, said it would last through 2025.

In its statement, the State Department said: “America’s alliances are a tremendous source of our strength. This development reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to reinvigorating and modernizing our democratic alliances around the world to advance our shared security and prosperity.”

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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