The defense ministry in Seoul says the U.S. agrees with it on the early return of American military bases in Korea, quelling speculation that Seoul's announcement last week of their imminent return was meant to pressure Washington.
The ministry's spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo said Tuesday that moving the headquarters of U.S. Forces Korea from Seoul to Pyeongtaek, further south, is a matter that's been discussed between the two countries for a long time.
There have been concerns of a rift between the allies after Seoul's decision last week to stop sharing military intel with Japan.
There are also concerns about America's stance on the Seoul-Tokyo diplomatic row and the issue of sharing the cost of stationing American troops on the Peninsula.