South Korea's top negotiator in defense cost-sharing talks with the U.S. has stressed there must be reasonable and fair burden-sharing.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Washington on Monday, Jeong Eun-bo, the top envoy to the Special Measures Agreement negotiations, also highlighted that the allies can strike a win-win deal based on the common understanding of the alliance they share.
Jeong will sit down with his U.S. counterpart, James DeHart of the State Department for the fourth round of talks on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The previous negotiations held in Seoul in mid-November were cut short, in a public display the disagreement between the allies in sharing the cost for the upkeep of American troops in South Korea.
Asked about the follow-up from the last round of talks, Jeong stressed that Seoul and Washington have maintained close communication.
Under the current agreement, which expires at the end of the year, South Korea is required to pay 870 million U.S. dollars for the construction of military facilities to maintain the allies' readiness as well as other forms of support.
However, the Trump administration has reportedly asked Seoul to pay nearly 5 billion dollars in 2020, which is more than five-fold increase compared to this year.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.