Global Network reported that South Korea and the United States entered the final stage of negotiations on defense cost-sharing today. After media reports said Trump wanted South Korea to double its defense costs, concerns were raised about whether the current round of negotiations could agree on the amount of defense costs to be shared.
According to a report on the website of MBC TV in South Korea on December 11, the tenth round of negotiations between South Korea and the United States aimed at signing the 10th defense cost-sharing agreement will be held in Seoul today. The two sides will discuss the amount of defense cost-sharing and so on. At present, the cost shared by South Korea amounts to 960.2 billion won (about 5.9 billion yuan of RMB). The United States requires South Korea to share 1.3 trillion won (about 8 billion yuan of RMB) next year.
American media had previously reported that Trump wanted South Korea to double its defense costs to $1.6 billion (about 11 billion yuan). According to Korean media analysis, this is in fact equivalent to requiring Korea to share the total cost of 28,500 US troops stationed in Korea. The ROK side has shown an unacceptable strong position on the substantial increase in the cost-sharing.
The MBC believes that it is still uncertain whether the negotiations from today will eventually reach an agreement because of the differences between South Korea and the United States. The United States may propose to postpone or exempt additional sanctions against North Korea on the premise of increasing cost-sharing by South Korea.
Defense cost-sharing refers to the garrison costs shared by the ROK for the US military, which are used for the labor costs of the ROK personnel, the construction costs of various US military bases, military logistics costs and so on. Since 1991, Korea and the United States have signed nine defense fee-sharing agreements. The ninth agreement will expire on December 31 this year. Both sides need to reach an agreement on the tenth agreement before that.
Source: Global Times - Global Network. More exciting, please log on to the World Wide Web at http://www.huanqiu.com. Author: Li Huiling, responsible editor: Zhang Xianchao_NN9310