U.S. Senate committee submits bill with no mention of minimum number of USFK troops
Updated: 2021-09-24 09:32:35 KST
The U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services has submitted a defense budget bill for fiscal year 2022 that does not specify a minimum number of American troops stationed in South Korea.
This compares to the past three National Defense Authorization Acts for the fiscal years 2019 through 2021.
Instead, the bill underscores the importance of security cooperation with Washington's allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as the need for a U.S. military presence in South Korea for regional peace and security.
It's now set to be voted on at a plenary session.
The submission comes after the House Armed Services Committee's passing of its own defense authorization bill this month, which also did not specify the minimum number of troops in US Forces Korea.
After the former Trump administration began to use the USFK as a bargaining chip in defense cost-sharing talks with Seoul, Congress has begun adding a lower limit for the over 28-thousand American military forces in Korea.
Once the Senate and House pass their own respective bills, they will go through a reconciliation process to have a single bill that can be signed into law.
In a supplementary report to the defense bill, the Senate committee called North Korea a rogue state that continues to develop weapons that threatens the U.S. and its allies.
It explained how the regime wants to develop various weapons, including miniaturized nuclear warheads, tactical nuclear weapons and hypersonic glide vehicles.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.