S.Korea, U.S. to negotiate cost-sharing for U.S. Forces Korea

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-09 15:43:25|Editor: xuxin
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SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the United States will hold a round of negotiations next week on how to share costs for U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, South Korea's foreign ministry said Friday.

The ninth round of negotiations between Seoul and Washington will be held on Nov. 13-16 in Honolulu, Hawaii, 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 was scheduled to expire by the end of this year. Under the current accord, South Korea has contributed about 960 billion won (850 million U.S. dollars) per year to help station the U.S. forces.

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

The Seoul ministry said the two sides will make an in-depth discussion to coordinate their stances based on what was discussed in the previous negotiations. The latest round was held in Seoul last month.

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 for plans, programs and operations.