A new round of protection fee negotiations between South Korea and the United States

category:Military
 A new round of protection fee negotiations between South Korea and the United States


South Korean protesters. (source: Korean daily)

Overseas network, Dec. 3 - Dec. 3 - 4, South Korea and the United States will hold the fourth round of negotiations on defense cost sharing in 2020. In the face of sky high prices from the United States, all circles in South Korea also responded fiercely. Many South Koreans also held large-scale protests and even threw shoes at the US embassy in South Korea as a sign of outrage.

According to media reports such as South Koreas central daily, KBS radio, and North Korea daily, the talks were resumed in Washington two weeks after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States on November 19. The main cause of the dispute between the two sides is the issue of apportionment amount. Previously, the United States asked South Korea to increase its share to 5 billion US dollars, five times the current amount. Although this amount is only the initial offer of the United States, and there is some room for adjustment, the key to the problem is that the United States intends to change the concept of defense fee sharing amount, so as to ask South Korea to increase the sharing amount on a large scale at any time in the future.

According to a number of South Korean sources, US Defense negotiator James DeHart is pressuring South Korea to accept the concept of including the cost of military preparation, the so-called cost of management and maintenance, etc. into the cost of US troops stationed in South Korea. That is to say, South Korea is also required to share the cost of strategic asset activities, joint exercises and cyclic deployment that the US military has sharply increased.

In this regard, South Koreas attitude is that even if the assessed amount is increased, the proportion of increase cannot exceed 10%. In the 10th negotiation of the agreement last year, South Korea finally increased its share by 8.2% to 1.0389 trillion won, which is far higher than the previous increase. Prior to that, the proportion of increase in the ninth defense fee negotiation between the two countries was 5.8%.

Therefore, it is believed that the negotiation team of South Korea may raise the proportion by about 5% in the negotiation, and advocate that the excessive increase may lead to the exercise of the veto power by the South Korean parliament. In other words, this negotiation is a 5% and 500% struggle. However, it is believed that it is difficult for South Korea to unconditionally reject the request of the United States to increase the amount of defense fee sharing.

David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for Asia Pacific Affairs of the United States, said Tuesday that in recent decades, the capacity of the two countries has grown geometrically and there should be more opportunities for cooperation. South Korean media believe that South Korea and the United States are about to hold the fourth round of defense cost sharing negotiations in Washington. The words of U.S. Assistant Secretary of state Stilwell clearly require South Korea to bear more defense costs.

Zheng Enfu, South Koreas chief representative and defense fee sharing ambassador, said he would strive to reach an agreement on defense fee negotiations with the US by the end of the year. He predicted there would be another negotiation between South Korea and the United States this year, but did not give details.

David Stilwell, US Assistant Secretary of state for Asia Pacific Affairs, said Tuesday that in recent decades, the capacity of the two countries has grown geometrically and there should be more opportunities for cooperation. South Korean media believe that South Korea and the United States are about to hold the fourth round of defense cost sharing negotiations, Stilwells remark is obviously to ask South Korea to bear more defense costs.

In response, Zheng Enfu, chief representative of South Korea and Ambassador of defense fee sharing negotiation, said he would strive to reach an agreement on defense fee negotiations with the US by the end of the year. But he also predicted that there would be another negotiation between South Korea and the United States this year, but did not give details.

South Korean people also responded strongly to the demands of the United States. On November 30, several South Korean civil society groups held a large-scale protest rally in Seouls Guanghuamen square, aiming to oppose the USs demand for higher defense cost sharing. On the same day, about 10000 people participated in the event.

Protesters displayed banners and some threw shoes at the US embassy in South Korea. Many people lit torches and marched together to the qinghuatai. Although South Korean police later stopped the activity, only one protester was arrested at the scene.

Source: editor in charge of overseas website: Li Zaixing, nbjs9026