The United States has reportedly demanded that South Korea share the cost of deploying U.S. strategic assets around the Korean Peninsula during recent talks to renew their cost-sharing agreement for American troops stationed in South Korea. This is the first time that Washington publicly demands that South Korea share the deployment cost of strategic assets that are used to deter North Korea’s threats not only on South Korea but also on the U.S. mainland such as nuclear powered aircraft carriers, nuclear powered submarines, and strategic bombers.
“The cost of strategic assets was mentioned by the U.S. side during the negotiation,” said a South Korean Foreign Ministry official Friday, referring to the second round of talks to conclude the 10th special defense agreement (SMA) held in the southern island of Jeju starting on Wednesday.
“It is not that the United States demanded South Korea bear the entire cost of deploying strategic assets,” said the official. “The government stressed our basic stance that the agreement deals with how to share the upkeep cost of stationing the U.S. troops, not the cost of deploying strategic assets.”
The two countries have also shown different views on the total cost of stationing U.S. forces in South Korea. The official said that there are “big differences to be ironed out” in the amount of money proposed by each side, but did not provide specific numbers. Seoul’s contribution is 960.2 billion won this year, but the United States is reportedly demanding South Korea pay up to twice what it currently contributes.
Na-Ri Shin firstname.lastname@example.org