U.S., Korea 'Nearing Agreement' on USFK Cost-Sharing

  • By Kim Eun-joong

    February 15, 2021 10:03

    Drawn-out negotiations between Seoul and Washington over sharing the upkeep of American troops in Korea seem to be nearing an end now that ex-U.S. President Donald Trump and his excessive demands are out of the way.

    The two sides are expected to reach a new multi-year deal with an increase of 13 percent in Seoul's contribution.

    "The two sides are very close to reaching an agreement on the percentage of an increase," a government source here said on Sunday.

    Jeong Eun-bo, Korea's negotiator in defense cost-sharing talks, attends a virtual meeting with his American counterparts on Feb. 5.

    CNN also reported on Feb. 10 that the two sides "are narrowing in" on the agreement.

    They already tentatively agreed on a 13 percent increase last year, but this was vetoed by Trump, who wanted some 50 percent or US$5 billion more.

    But it is likely that the U.S. will lean on Korea to buy more of its arms.

    The two allies struck five-year deals between 2009 and 2013 and 2014 and 2018 but only managed to agree on a one-year deal thereafter because of Trump's excessive demands. 

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