The Pentagon is going ahead with U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to pull out about 12-thousand American troops from Germany as a way to strategically reposition its forces in Europe to better counter threats from China and Russia.
President Trump on Wednesday also pointed to Germany being "delinquent" in its payments to NATO.
"We don't want to be the suckers anymore. The United States has been taken advantage of for 25 years both on trade and on the military. So we're reducing the force because they're not paying their bills, it's very simple."
Despite the South Korean defense ministry's repeated statements that there are no discussions about reducing U.S. troops on the peninsula local media outlets have raised concerns that the move could impact the U.S. Forces Korea amid stalled negotiations between the two countries in striking a deal over defense cost-sharing.
In previous rounds of talks, the U.S. is believed to have asked Seoul to pay more than four times from last year's figure of 8-hundred-70 million U.S. dollars.
"Germany isn't considered as a suitable location to counter Russia, rather Poland has more U.S. troops for that due to its proximity. Considering the security and geopolitical nature of stationing troops in Germany and South Korea, it's vastly different and could not be compared but given Trump's position, the recent move can be used by the U.S. in the defense cost-sharing deal with South Korea."
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has said the U.S. envoy who had led defense cost-sharing negotiations with South Korea, James DeHart, has been appointed as a coordinator for the Arctic region.
DeHart's successor for the defense cost-sharing talks with South Korea has yet to be announced.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.