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South Korea, U.S. begin second round of defense cost sharing negotiations Updated: 2018-04-11 18:00:34 KST


Foreign and defense officials from Seoul and Washington, led by South Korean foreign ministry's Representative for Defense Burden-sharing Chang Won-sam, and his U.S. counterpart Timothy Betts, are continuing discussions over how to effectively share the costs, while strengthening their alliance.
This second round of negotiations followed the previous one held in Hawaii last month.
According to the Special Measures Agreement, or SMA, between the two sides, South Korea is expected to pay some 900 million U.S. dollars this year.
The money will be used to tackle costs such as expenses of South Korean workers at U.S. military bases, facility construction and logistical support.
The current defense cost sharing is ruled by their 9th SMA, signed in 2014,. and the agreement is expected to expire at the end of this year.
Seoul and Washington are looking to sign a tenth SMA soon.
While South Korea is known to cover roughly 50 percent of the total cost of having U.S. military forces deployed in South Korea, U.S. President Trump has consistently put forth that allies of the U.S. should pay more.

The day before the start of the negotiations, the U.S. delegation visited Camp Humphreys located in Pyeongtaek, some 65 kilometers south of Seoul, which is the largest overseas U.S. military base in the world.
The South Korean government has paid over 90 percent of the construction of facilities and land cost of some ten billion U.S. dollars.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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