August 21, 2019 11:33
The U.S. and Korea have agreed to start full-fledged defense cost-sharing talks after Chuseok in mid-September.
In a closed-door preliminary meeting Tuesday, Chang Won-sam, the chief Korean negotiator, and his U.S. counterpart Timothy Betts agreed to wait with the negotiations until then.
But the U.S. already demanded that Korea shoulder a portion not only of the cost of maintaining American troops on the Korean peninsula but also of mobilizing aircraft carriers and other strategic assets. Washington presented Seoul with a drastically increased bill for the cost of maintaining American troops overseas.
One diplomatic source said, "The U.S. will pressure Korea to shoulder an increased portion of defense costs and will also demand other responsibilities as an ally" such as participation in the U.S.' military adventures elsewhere.
"Going beyond defense cost-sharing, the U.S. is trying to expand the framework to encompass all alliance-sharing costs," the source added.
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