June 24, 2013 11:16
Washington will ask Seoul to raise its share in the upkeep of the U.S. Forces Korea when the two sides meet for regular talks next month. The U.S. wants Korea to shoulder more than W1 trillion (US$1=W1,155) of the cost, up from the present W869 billion.
"The U.S. is expected to demand a double-digit increase in the cost shouldered by Seoul," a high-ranking government official said. "That will amount to over W1 trillion. The only option is to pore over every expense and try to minimize the hike, even if that leads to raised voices."
The U.S. now apparently wants Korea to pay at least 50 percent of the cost of stationing American troops here, but Seoul says it will not cave in. "The expense-sharing ratio is set by the U.S. Defense Department for report to the Senate and does not conform with our views," said another government official here. "Our stance is that we cannot accept the ratio the U.S. is proposing."
The Pentagon is under pressure to make swingeing spending cuts under a mechanism known as the sequester.
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