S Korea, USA mark ‘special measures’ agreement sharing troops’ costs: US state department

South Korean and the United States have finally reached out to an agreement “in principle” over sharing the amount (cost) of the stationed American troops in the Asian country, the US state department has said on Monday. Both the sides have agreed on a “new special measures agreements”.

According to Reuters news reports, a spokesperson said: “The United States and the Republic of Korea have reached an agreement in principle on a new Special Measures Agreement. Both sides are committed to working out remaining technical issues as quickly as possible.”

As officials from the state department were quoted by CNN news as saying that under this revised agreement, South Korean would enhance its financial contribution into nearly about $1 billion.

The 2014 deal that has expired last year required S Korea to pay around $848 million (960 billion won) a year in order to keep some 28,500 American troops in Seoul. The close allies had also appeared unable to carry out strikes an accord to the renew agreement despite ten rounds of dialogues since last year’s March.

The US President Donald Trump repeatedly stated S Korea need to bear more of the cost, where the American troops stationed since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Earlier, the South Korean news agency Yonhap has quoted a diplomatic source in Seoul as saying Washington has appeared to accept Korea’s request to contribute under the $1 billion in 2019, and also that the deal would further run for a year as being opposed to the previous five-year agreement.

Agency said both sided were expected to mark the agreement as soon in this week, which attributed a compromise to the allies’ efforts to aim at diplomacy with N Korea ahead of Trump second historic meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un scheduled later this month.

S Korean officials said Seoul sought to limit its shares to about $891 million ($1 trillion won) and had made the deal valid for the next three years.

A senior legislator in Seoul’s ruling party has, last month said negotiations were an impasse after the US made “sudden, unacceptable” demand to S Korea to pay about more than $1.25 billion (1.4 trillion won) per year.

The US military has warned Korean employees that they might be put on hold from mid-April if no agreement being reached out.

 

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