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Trump’s demand that South Korea pay more for US troops leads to impasse

pWASHINGTON — South Korea is resisting a Trump administration demand for sharply higher payments to defray the cost of basing U.S. forces on its territory, raising fears that President Donald Trump might threaten a troop drawdown at a time of sensitive diplomacy on the Korean peninsula./ppU.S. negotiators have sought a 50 percent increase in Seoul’s annual payment, which last year was about $830 million, or about half of the estimated cost of hosting 28,500 U.S. troops, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the discussions./ppThe U.S. stance reflects Trump’s view that U.S. allies have taken advantage of American military protection for decades — a view resented by many South Korean officials, who say they already pay more to the U.S. than almost any other American ally except Japan./ppTalks that began last March on a five-year funding agreement were suspended after negotiators did not agree on a new by the end of 2018, when the last agreement expired./ppSouth Korea, which initially called for adjusting annual payments only to account for inflation, is expected to make a counteroffer this month, but it is unlikely to satisfy the White House, U.S. officials said./pp“The Koreans want to keep the status quo,” said one …read more

Thank you Source: WDT

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