South Korea to increase funding for US military contingent

The State Department said that Washington and Seoul are finalizing work on a corresponding agreement.

South Korea will increase its contribution to maintaining the American military contingent in this country as part of the agreement reached with the United States. The State Department announced this on Sunday.

The agreement reflects the Biden administration’s commitment to “revitalize and modernize our democratic alliances around the world for our common security and prosperity,” a State Department official said.

The proposed “Special Measures Agreement” will replace the previous agreement, which expired in 2019, removing a major irritant in bilateral relations.

A State Department official said the agreement includes “an agreed substantial increase in host country contributions” but did not go into details.

Negotiations stalled when former President Donald Trump rejected Seoul’s offer to increase payments by 13 percent, to about $ 1 billion a year, demanding up to $ 5 billion. Seoul currently pays Washington about $ 920 million a year.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the agreement in principle, noted that the South Korean parliament must approve it.

The State Department said that the two countries are working on finalizing the agreement for signing.

The head of the South Korean delegation to the talks, Jong-Un Bo, told reporters on Thursday that Seoul will try to resolve the remaining differences and sign an agreement with Washington to share the costs associated with deploying 28,500 US troops.

Jong-Un Bo announced as he arrived in Washington for the first face-to-face talks with US envoy Donna Welton since President Joe Biden took office in January. In February, they held their first video conference.

After the previous agreement’s expiration, about 4,000 South Korean citizens who worked for the US military were sent on unpaid leave, which forced the two countries to develop a temporary agreement to allow them to return to work.

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Author: Ivan Maltsev
The study of political and social problems of different countries of the world. Analysis of large companies on the world market. Observing world leaders in the political arena.
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