S. Korea, U.S. to hold new talks over cost-sharing for USFK

by IANS |

Seoul, April 22 (IANS) Negotiators from South Korea and the United States will hold talks in Honolulu, Hawaii this week to discuss how to share an upkeep cost for the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), Seoul's foreign ministry said on Monday.

The first round of negotiations for the 12th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), the South Korea-U.S. deal on sharing a defense cost for about 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, will be held in Honolulu from Tuesday to Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the foreign ministry, South Korea has planned to consult with the United States on the basis of the principle that defense costs should be shared at a reasonable level to create stable conditions for the USFK presence and strengthen the South Korea-U.S. joint defense posture.

The 11th SMA, which was reached in 2021, is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025.

Under the 11th SMA, South Korea paid 1.18 trillion won (854.8 million U.S. dollars) in 2021 for the stationing of U.S. soldiers, up 13.9 percent compared to the previous year.

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

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