• Sunday, Jan 29, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

South Korea pushes back at Trump claims about more money for troop agreement

  • Published at 11:45 am February 13th, 2019
United States-South Korea
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Timothy Betts, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements in the US Department of State in Seoul, South Korea, February 10, 2019 Reuters

Trump said at a cabinet meeting in Washington on Tuesday Seoul had agreed to pay $500 million more as part of an agreement sharing the cost of keeping roughly 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea

South Korea's presidential Blue House pushed back on Wednesday against comments by US President Donald Trump that suggested Seoul had agreed to pay $500 million more towards maintaining US troops in the country.

Trump said at a cabinet meeting in Washington on Tuesday Seoul had agreed to pay $500 million more as part of an agreement sharing the cost of keeping roughly 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea.

"They were paying about $500 million for $5 billion worth of protection," Trump said. "And we have to do better than that. So they've agreed to pay $500 million more."

Under the previous agreement - which lapsed amid disagreements in December - South Korea contributed $857 million won in 2018.

South Korean and American officials initialled an agreement on Sunday under which Seoul would increase its contribution to just under $927 million won, an increase of about $70.3 million.

Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul, said when asked about Trump's $500 million figure that it "shouldn't be taken as a fait accompli."

Washington demanded during the negotiations that South Korea pay 50% more than its 2018 contribution, according to South Korean officials. The new agreement amounts to an increase of about 8%.

The agreement signed on Sunday must still be approved by South Korea's parliament. Kim said it was valid for only one year, with the possibility of an extension for another year if both sides agreed.

"Both sides will consider whether a raise is needed and it's also possible that they would agree to maintain the current level," Kim said.

The two sides had struggled to reach a breakthrough, despite at least 10 rounds of talks since March, amid Trump's repeated calls for a sharp increase in South Korea's contribution.

Trump said in his cabinet comments on Tuesday the relationship with South Korea was "great" but that the United States lost "a tremendous amount of money" defending its ally.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail