Our Bureau
10:33 AM, November 19, 2018
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South Korea, US to hold talks on splitting USFK costs in December
American troops in South Korea (image: pri.org)

US and South Korean officials fail to reach consensus on splitting the bill of the American soldiers stationed on the peninsula during the ninth round of bargaining, a government official stated on Monday.

Senior diplomats of the two sides had three-day talks on the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) to set the amount of Seoul's financial contributions for the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) in Honolulu, Hawaii, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.

A foreign ministry official who wished to remain anonymous said, "There was some progress, but no final agreement was reached".

Washington is demanding that Seoul bump up its share of the expenses from the current 960 billion Won (US$850 million).  

"Our goal, of course, is to minimize (a hike)," the official added.

Although South Korea admits the role and significance of the USFK in the defense of their country, the 1 trillion-won hike is proving to be big burden.

The allies plan to hold the next round of talks in the month of December to sort out the differences.

 

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