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S. Korea agreed to pay substantially more for U.S. Forces Korea defense cost: Trump Updated: 2019-08-08 16:26:27 KST

President Trump says South Korea has agreed to sharply increase its contribution for the shared cost of keeping the roughly 28-thousand American troops stationed on the Korean Peninsula.

"South Korea and I have made a deal where they're paying a lot more money and they're going to pay a lot more money. The relationship is a very good one. But I felt all along, I felt for years it was a very unfair one. So they've agreed to pay a lot more and they will agree to pay a lot more than that. And we're with them. We're with them."

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that talks to increase Seoul's contribution had begun.
The U.S. leader also said South Korea is a "very wealthy nation" that now feels obligated to contribute to the defense it receives from the U.S. military.

However, shortly after Trump's tweet was posted, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said negotiations on the Special Measures Agreement - a bilateral deal between South Korea and the U.S. to share the cost of American forces in Korea - have not started.

The ministry said that, during U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton's visit to Seoul last month South Korea and the U.S. agreed to proceed with the issue in a "rational and fair direction" adding the two sides plan to discuss the finer details in the negotiations.

The ministry also said it's working on selecting its next chief negotiator and forming a task force.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.
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