South Korea signs deal to pay more for USA troops

South Korea signs deal to pay more for USA troops

South Korea has agreed to pay the US nearly $100 million more than they did previous year to defray expenses associated with stationing 28,500 troops of US Forces Korea on the peninsula.

Last year, South Korea provided about 960 billion won, roughly 40 per cent of the cost of the deployment of 28,500 U.S. soldiers whose presence is meant to deter aggression from North Korea.

Scholars took exception with the notion that the deal is being received with applause in South Korea. As Vietnam prepares for the summit, its reform model is being widely touted as the economic path for impoverished and isolated North Korea to follow. Washington's top negotiator, Betts, also met with South Korea's Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, before signing the agreement.

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Vietnam's foreign minister plus a few other senior diplomats are in North Korea for a three-day hammer out protocol issues ahead of the North Korean leader's visit to Hanoi later this month. "The SMA is only a small part of that". The U.S. originally asked Seoul to pay about $1 billion.

The state-run Radio Pyongyang also reportedly broadcast similar demands that the US move towards "credible steps and responds with corresponding practical action".

South Korea has agreed to substantially increase its contribution to cover the cost of keeping US troops in that country. But he insists that troop numbers are not part of the equation in nuclear talks with the North.

Malpass said he had a very good meeting with Hong with "the discussion about the World Bank and ways to have more growth in various developing countries".

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However, he added "maybe someday", reiterating that he would like to save the money.

The report also said supporters of liberal and moderate political parties across all regions and age groups below 60 held optimistic sentiments about the summit's outcome, while those who backed conservative parties were mostly negative.

The two leaders held their first summit last June in Singapore. US President Donald Trump has said South Korea should pay more. Under Park, the city is expected to establish an inter-Korea cooperation fund of $35.5 million. Also, the deal was originally going to be for five years, . but the US insisted on just one year.

South Korea insists it pays a fair share of the some $2 billion per year needed to keep the troops in the country, with funds mainly used for salaries of almost 9,000 local employees who provide food and administrative services, and other logistical needs.

A group of activists staged a rally Sunday in front of the foreign ministry building against the agreement, claiming that renegotiating the agreement would largely increase Seoul's burden.

The U.S. military also enjoys less tangible benefits, including rent-free land for its bases and an exemption that allows government-operated vehicles to use expressways toll-free.

But Trump told USA broadcaster CBS last week that he had "no plans" to remove United States troops from South Korea as part of a deal at the upcoming summit, although he admitted "maybe someday" he would withdraw them, adding: "It's very expensive to keep troops there".

The allies had failed to reach a new cost-sharing plan during some 10 rounds of talks.

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