Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 05:34:47 pm
S Korea, US to negotiate cost-sharing for forces stationed in peninsula
December 07, 2018

South Korea and the United States will hold the 10th round of negotiations next week on how to share costs for U.S. troops stationed in South Korea.

South Korea's foreign ministry said on Friday that the negotiations will last for three days from Dec. 11 to December 13 2018 in Seoul to strike a deal on the cost-sharing for the stationing of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).

About 28,500 U.S. soldiers are stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with truce.

A five-year accord to share the costs is set to expire on Dec. 31 this year. Under the current accord, South Korea contributed about 960 billion won (860 million U.S. dollars) per year to help station the U.S. forces.

The U.S. administration allegedly called for South Korea to sharply increase its contribution to the USFK stationing, a move opposed by the South Korean government.

The foreign ministry said the two sides will make an in-depth discussion, based on what was discussed in the previous negotiations, to coordinate the positions of both sides.

The South Korean side will be represented by Chang Won-sam, a career diplomat who served as ambassador to Sri Lanka, while his U.S. counterpart will be Timothy Betts, deputy assistant secretary of state.