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U.S. defense chief urges S. Korea and Japan to solve row over GSOMIA Updated: 2019-11-22 07:28:00 KST

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has reiterated the U.S. will continue to try and resolve the issue over Seoul and Tokyo's soon-to-be terminated military intel-sharing pact.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Esper called on South Korea and Japan to resolve the GSOMIA issue, reaffirming Washington's position on the need to maintain the pact.
He says he understands the historical issue that sparked the conflict, but stressed the greater concern is North Korea and China.
If Seoul doesn't retract its decision on GSOMIA, the deal will lapse at the stroke of midnight tonight.
Esper also argued it's not unfair to ask for countries that are capable to pay more to pay more for American troops.
The U.S. is reportedly asking Seoul for 5-billion dollars for defense cost-sharing, a more than five-fold increase from this year.
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