South Korean presidential Blue House has on Wednesday stepped back from the comments that alleged by the United States President Donald Trump saying that Seoul had agreed to provide $500 million for maintaining the American troops in S Korea.
According to Reuters news reports, at a cabinet conference held on Tuesday, Trump has said Seoul had agreed to pay about $500 million more as a part of an agreement for sharing the cost to keep around 28,500 American troops stationed in the country.
Trump said: “They were paying about $500 million for $5 billion worth of protection. And we have to do better than that. So they’ve agreed to pay $500 million more.”
The previous agreement which was incomplete due to disagreements during the summit between the US and South Korea in December, Seoul has contributed about $857 million in 2018.
American and Seoul officials have initiated an agreement on Sunday under which S Korea would be increasing its contribution of money about $70.3 million under $947 million pact.
Blue House spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom, when asked about the US president’s $500 million figure, said it “shouldn’t be taken as a fait accompli”.
According to South Korean officials, Washington has asked Seoul to fund 50 per cent more than that of its 2018 contribution. The new pact estimated to have an increment of about 8 per cent.
The pact which was signed on Sunday must get approved by the South Korean parliament. Kim said, “Both sides will consider whether a raise is needed and it’s also possible that they would agree to maintain the current level.”
Trump has said the diplomatic ties with Seoul was “great” but that Washington lost “a tremendous amount of money” while defending its ally.