WORLD S. Korea, US to hold talks over upkeep cost-sharing for USFK

WORLD

S. Korea, US to hold talks over upkeep cost-sharing for USFK

Xinhua

16:02, December 13, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Negotiators from South Korea and the United States will hold talks in Seoul next week over the sharing of the upkeep cost for the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), South Korea's foreign ministry said Friday.

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File photo: VCG

The fifth round of negotiations for the 11th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), a South Korea-U.S. accord to share defense cost for about 28,500 U.S. troops stationed here, was scheduled to be held in Seoul from Dec. 17 to Dec. 18.

The latest negotiation was held in Washington earlier this month.

The Seoul ministry said South Korea will closely consult with the U.S. side "with patience" under the basic principle of sharing the upkeep cost at a "fair, reasonable" level.

The 10th SMA, which was reached in March, was set to expire by the end of this year.

Under the 10th SMA, South Korea paid 1.04 trillion won (about 890 million U.S. dollars) this year for the stationing of U.S. troops here, up 8.2 percent from last year.

The United States reportedly demanded some 5 billion U.S. dollars from South Korea for next year's defense cost.

Since 1991, South Korea has shared the upkeep cost for U.S. forces here, including costs for South Korean civilians hired by the USFK, for construction of military installations and for logistics support.

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