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S. Korea, U.S. to start defense cost-sharing talks soon Updated: 2019-08-20 07:16:16 KST

Officials from South Korea and the U.S. are meeting in Seoul on Tuesday for talks on sharing the cost of stationing American troops on the peninsula.
The South Korean foreign ministry's delegate Chang Won-sam will meet his American counterpart Timothy Betts.
They were the chief negotiators in the previous talks on the 10th Special Measures Agreement a defense cost-sharing deal signed in March for keeping the roughly 28-thousand U.S. troops stationed in the South.
Seoul has agreed to pay nearly 858-million U.S. dollars for 2019. The deal expires this year and talks will start soon on the next deal.

Chang and Betts won't be directly involved in negotiations for the 11th SMA new teams will be formed to lead the talks from both sides but they will be exchanging views ahead of that.
Some sources say Washington has asked Seoul for nearly 5-billion dollars, which would be a sign that the negotiations are going to be tough.

In the meantime, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will be in Seoul on Tuesday the day the South Korea-U.S. joint military exercise wraps up.
Before he gets here, he'll be meeting with his counterpart in Japan as well to strengthen coordination with both countries North Korea's complete denuclearization.
The North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has told President Trump in a letter that he would like for negotiations to resume as soon as the joint drills are over, raising hopes for some progress in the talks.

This Saturday, on August 24,the South Korean government will decide whether or not to terminate its military intelligence sharing pact with Japan amid Tokyo's export restrictions. That pact is automatically renewed every year unless either party notifies the other that it's quitting.

Meanwhile, the Japanese foreign ministry said on Monday that the foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan Kang Kyung-wha and Taro Kono will sit down for separate bilateral talks on Wednesday in Beijing.
They'll both be there for three-way talks with their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Kang will be heading for Beijing on Tuesday.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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