U.S. and South Korea Agree to Share Troop Costs

The U.S. and South Korea have reached an agreement in principle on a new Special Measures Agreement that shares the cost of the American troops deployed in South Korea to defend against North Korean aggression. 

The State Department’s Political-Military Affairs announced Sunday via their Twitter that the proposed deal includes a “negotiated increase in ROK support for @USForcesKorea presence” and “reaffirms [the] U.S.-ROK Alliance as the linchpin of peace, security and prosperity for Northeast Asia, a free and open #IndoPacific, and across the world.” 

South Korea added, in a similar statement, that the agreement had been reached after three days of in-person talks in Washington. 

The U.S. currently has around 28,000 troops deployed in South Korea to help eliminate potential aggression from North Korea, as hostile sentiment still lingers decades after the Korean War.

The Trump administration often asked South Korea for more financial support regarding the troops, resulting in the 2019 agreement that required South Korea to pay around $924 million (1.04 trillion won). 

Negotiations for a new agreement soured after the U.S. demanded South Korea pay five times more than what it previously paid. 

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news of the agreement, said the new deal is expected to last through 2025. 

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