The United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. But how much South Korea has to pay for the US military presence has been a difficult issue in bilateral relations under the Trump administration, which has often asked its Asian ally to dramatically increase its stake.
In 2019, the Allies struck a deal that required South Korea to pay about $ 924 million (1.04 trillion stinks) for the presence of US troops, an increase of $ 830 million the previous year. But negotiations on a new cost-sharing plan have fallen apart due to a US demand that Seoul pay five times more than it previously paid.
The State Department said in a statement that the increase in the South̵
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the agreement, said it would last until 2025.
In a statement, the State Department said: “America’s alliances are a huge source of our strength. This development reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to revitalize and modernize our democratic alliances around the word in order to improve our common security and prosperity. “
Many conservatives in South Korea are worried that then-President Donald Trump could use the failed cost-sharing talks as an excuse to withdraw some US troops to South Korea as a bargaining chip in now-stalled nuclear talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The United States and South Korea have also suspended or canceled some of their military exercises in recent years in support of nuclear diplomacy, which eventually fell apart over disputes over US sanctions against North Korea.
On Monday, the South Korean and US military began annual military exercises that will last nine days. The South Korean military said the exercises were command post exercises and computer simulations and did not include field training. He said the Allies had reviewed factors such as the status of Covid-19 and diplomatic efforts to resume nuclear talks with North Korea when it decided to conduct the exercise.
The prospect of a new cost-sharing plan has widened as the Biden administration seeks to strengthen its alliance with South Korea and other countries.
South Korea began paying for US military deployment in the early 1990s after rebuilding its economy from the devastation of the Korean War. The large US military presence in South Korea is a symbol of the alliance of the countries, but it is also a source of long-standing anti-American sentiment.