Seoul, Washington start 2-day talks on defence cost-sharing deal in S Korea on Tuesday

Seoul, Washington start 2-day talks on defence cost-sharing deal in S Korea on Tuesday
# 24 September 2019 13:02 (UTC +04:00)

The United States and South Korea will start on Tuesday in Seoul the first two-day round of negotiations on sharing the costs of stationing US Forces Korea, as part of the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) that was concluded in February for the duration of one year, APA reports citing Sputnik.

The agreement between Seoul and Washington obliges South Korea to pay roughly 80 billion won (around $70 million) more for hosting 28,500 US troops per year, which is expected to be the main discussion topic during the negotiations.

Under the agreement for 2019, South Korean taxpayers are to pay 1.04 trillion won (over $915 million) for the non-personnel related costs of stationing the troops. In 2018, the country paid 960 billion won, covering around 41 percent of the total stationing cost.

The recent Special Measures Agreement, which is updated every five years, came as a result of lengthy talks between US and South Korean officials. The United States had reportedly demanded that Seoul pay over 1.4 trillion won in shared stationing costs per year, causing the negotiations to stall at one point.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED