Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

South Korea signs deal to pay more for US troops after Trump demand

  • Sun, 10 Feb 2019 22:06
Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1549782807523927200
Sun, 2019-02-10 07:03

SEOUL: Officials signed a short-term agreement on Sunday to boost South Korea’s contribution toward the upkeep of US troops on the peninsula, after a previous deal lapsed amid US President Donald Trump’s call for the South to pay more.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, where the United States has maintained a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The new deal must still be approved by South Korea’s parliament, but it would boost its contribution to 1.03 trillion won ($ 890 million) from 960 billion won in 2018.

Unlike past agreements, which lasted for five years, this one is scheduled to expire in a year, potentially forcing both sides back to the bargaining table within months.

“It has been a very long process, but ultimately a very successful process,” South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said at a meeting before another official from the foreign ministry initialed the agreement.

While acknowledging lingering domestic criticism of the new deal and the need for parliamentary approval, Kang said the response had “been positive so far.”

The US State Department senior adviser for security negotiations and agreements, Timothy Betts, met Kang before signing the agreement on behalf of the United States, and told her the money represented a small but important part of South Korea’s support for the alliance.

“The United States government realizes that South Korea does a lot for our alliance and for peace and stability in this region,” he said.

The allies had struggled to reach a breakthrough despite 10 rounds of talks since March, amid Trump’s repeated calls for a sharp increase in South Korea’s contribution.

South Korean officials have said they had sought to limit its burden to $ 1 trillion won and make the accord valid for at least three years.

A senior South Korean ruling party legislator said last month that negotiations were deadlocked after the United States made a “sudden, unacceptable” demand that Seoul pay more than 1.4 trillion won per year.

But both sides worked to hammer out an agreement to minimize the impact on South Koreans working on US military bases, and focus on nuclear talks ahead of a second US-North Korea summit, Seoul officials said.

The disagreement had raised the prospect that Trump could decide to withdraw at least some troops from South Korea, as he has in other countries like Syria. But on Sunday, South Korean officials told Yonhap news agency that the United States had affirmed it would not be changing its troop presence.

Trump said in his annual State of the Union address to the US Congress on Tuesday that he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam, following their unprecedented meeting in June in Singapore.

Citing officials at South Korea’s presidential Blue House, Yonhap also reported that South Korean President Moon Jae-in would discuss the upcoming summit with Trump “soon,” and that American and North Korean officials would be meeting in an unspecified Asian country ahead of the summit.

After the June meeting, Trump announced a halt to joint military exercises with South Korea, saying they were expensive and paid for mostly by the United States.

Major joint exercises have been suspended, but some small-scale drills have continued, earning rebukes from North Korea’s state media in recent months.

About 70 percent of South Korea’s contribution covers the salaries of some 8,700 South Korean employees who provide administrative, technical and other services for the US military.

Late last year, the US military had warned Korean workers on its bases they might be put on leave from mid-April if no deal was agreed.

Main category: 
US, North Korea to set agenda for Trump-Kim summit in VietnamNetanyahu channeling Trump in Israel’s election campaign World

Tags


Harvard Business Review

Related Stories

India reimposes movement curbs on parts of Kashmir’s main city after clashes
  • Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:50

Author: ReutersID: 1566110918248272100Sun, 2019-08-18 06:46 SRINAGAR: Indian authorities reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts ...

Iran issues new threat to world over nuclear deal
  • Mon, 29 Jul 2019 15:27

Mon, 2019-07-29 03:02 VIENNA: Iran on Sunday renewed threats to boost its nuclear program unless world powers rescue the collapsing 2015 deal to curb...

7 Israeli teens freed after woman recants Cyprus rape report
  • Mon, 29 Jul 2019 14:27

Author: APID: 1564367325347336200Sun, 2019-07-28 19:02 PARALIMNI, Cyprus: Seven Israeli teenagers were freed from custody in Cyprus on Sund...

Fulham Ready to Bounce Back After Learning From Last Season’s Mistakes
  • Sun, 28 Jul 2019 16:31

It was as the conversation ticked inexorably towards the hour that Tony Khan issued the closest thing yet to a rallying cry. The Fulham vice-chairman ...

Iranian exiles rally in London to demand regime change in Tehran
  • Sun, 28 Jul 2019 10:37

Sun, 2019-07-28 03:08 Thousands of exiled Iranian dissidents rallied in Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday to demand regime change in Tehran, urg...

2 dead, 8 swimming athletes hurt in South Korea balcony collapse
  • Sun, 28 Jul 2019 00:33

Author: APID: 1564209391293452200Sat, 2019-07-27 06:32 SEOUL, South Korea: An internal balcony at a nightclub in South Korea collapsed on S...

Trump seeks to avoid slapping Turkey with sanctions over missile deal
  • Sat, 27 Jul 2019 21:48

Author: AFPID: 1564222550703798200Sat, 2019-07-27 01:35 WASHINGTON: The warnings were unambiguous, and now so is the retreat: after threate...

Trump administration pursues rule that would remove 3.1 mln people from food stamps
  • Tue, 23 Jul 2019 21:26

Author: ReutersID: 1563857840711579000Tue, 2019-07-23 03:59 CHICAGO: The Trump administration on Tuesday will propose a rule to tighten foo...

Indian opposition wants Modi to clarify Trump Kashmir claim
  • Tue, 23 Jul 2019 20:22

Author: Associated PressID: 1563865772151826500Tue, 2019-07-23 07:03 NEW DELHI: Opposition leaders are angrily demanding Prime Minister Nar...

Mardini — refugee from Syria rising fast after fleeing war
  • Mon, 22 Jul 2019 14:58

Mon, 2019-07-22 01:55 GWANGJU/SOUTH KOREA: Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini, who almost drowned at sea fleeing her war-torn country four years ago, heave...

Moon back in NASA’s court 50 years after 1st lunar landing
  • Mon, 22 Jul 2019 01:54

Author: By MARCIA DUNN | APID: 1563717773518346400Sun, 2019-07-21 12:43 CAPE CANAVERAL: The moon is back in NASA’s court 50 years after h...

Monsoon flooding death toll rises to 152 in South Asia
  • Sun, 21 Jul 2019 04:51

Author: WASBIR HUSSAIN and ANUPAM NATH | APID: 1563612957579566700Sat, 2019-07-20 08:48 GAUHATI, India: The death toll in monsoon flooding ...


الاقسام