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South Korean officials on Sunday signed a deal to cover more of the cost of U.S. troops over the coming year after President Donald Trump strongly urged them to do so.
The new arrangement, pending ratification by the South Korean parliament in April, would increase Seoul’s share of the cost by a little over 8 percent to $924 million in U.S. dollars.
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South Korean officials described the new deal as a compromise with President Trump’s request for a “huge increase.” The officials stressed the importance of “a strong South Korea-U.S. alliance and the need for a stable stationing of U.S. troops” and said the response from most of South Korea’s government to the revised arrangement has been “positive so far.”
“It has been a very long process, but ultimately a very successful process,” South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said of negotiations with the Americans.
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“United States government realizes that Korea does a lot for our alliance and peace and stability in the region,” said chief U.S. negotiator Timothy Betts. “We are very pleased our consultations resulted in agreement that will strengthen transparency and deepen our cooperation and the alliance.”
The new spending agreement lasts for only one year, while previous agreements lasted for five years. Prior to the spending increase, South Korea covered about 40 percent of the cost of constructing...
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