Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Editor's Pick

South Korea agrees to biggest increase in its share of cost for U.S. troops in years

World1 hour ago (Mar 10, 2021 03:56AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: American and South Korean flags at Yongin South Korea

By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has agreed to a 13.9% increase in its contribution to the cost of hosting some 28,500 U.S. troops for 2021, the biggest annual rise in nearly two decades after U.S. calls for greater funding.

The increase will take South Korea’s contribution this year to 1.18 trillion won ($1.03 billion). Former U.S. President Donald Trump had accused South Korea of “free-riding” on U.S. military might and demanded that it pay as much as $5 billion a year.

“The agreement resolved the longest-ever vacuum that had lasted about a year and three months,” South Korea’s chief negotiator, Jeong Eun-bo, told a televised briefing.

“It provided a chance to reaffirm the importance of the alliance and the need for stable stationing of U.S. Forces Korea.”

The six-year Special Measures Agreement with the United States came after drawn-out negotiations and will boost South Korea’s annual contribution to the bill for 2022 to 2025 in line with its annual defence budget increase, which was 5.4% this year, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The pact replaces an arrangement that expired at the end of 2019, under which South Korea paid about $920 million a year. Both sides agreed to freeze South Korea’s contribution for 2020, the ministry said.

In the last big increase in its contribution, South Korea in 2003 paid 17% more than the previous year, according to data from a defence ministry white paper.

On the new link between the contribution to the cost of maintaining U.S. forces and the defence budget, the ministry said the increase in the defence budget was a “reasonable, verifiable indicator” that reflected financial and security capabilities.

But Shin Beom-chul, a security expert at the Research Institute for Economy and Society in Seoul, said aligning the two issues was a “mistake” for South Korea, one of the world’s largest defence spenders, and it could bring budget pressure.

About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to help defend it against North Korea under a treaty of mutual defence signed after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The treaty provided the basis for the stationing of U.S. forces in South Korea, which began paying towards their costs in the early 1990s after rebuilding its war-devastated economy.

With negotiations making little headway after the last pact expired, about half of some 9,000 South Koreans working for the U.S. military were placed on unpaid leave, prompting the two sides to scramble for a stopgap deal to bring them back to work.

Jeong said the accord stipulated that in future, workers can be get their existing salaries in the absence of a new deal.

The workers’ union welcomed the agreement, saying it would help ensure stable work conditions. Without it, thousands more workers would have been forced to take unpaid leave next month, the union said.

($1 = 1,140.8600 won)

South Korea agrees to biggest increase in its share of cost for U.S. troops in years

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt.


Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione.


Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum.


At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores.

Disclaimer: it's managers and its employees (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised or above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial or health advice. Copyright © 2021 Buzz Clever. All Rights Reserved