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

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-10 16:18:45|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Negotiators from South Korea and the United States will hold talks in Washington next week over the sharing of the upkeep cost for the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), Seoul's foreign ministry said on Friday.

The sixth round of negotiations for the 11th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), a South Korea-U.S. accord to share defense cost for about 28,500 U.S. troops stationed here, would be held in Washington on Jan. 14-15.

The latest negotiation was held in Seoul in mid-December.

The Seoul ministry said South Korea will closely consult with the U.S. side to reach a mutually acceptable agreement as rapidly as possible under a basic principle of sharing the upkeep cost at a fair, reasonable level.

The 10th SMA, which was reached in March last year, expired at the end of 2019.

Under the 10th SMA, South Korea paid 1.04 trillion won (about 890 million U.S. dollars) last year for the stationing of U.S. troops, up 8.2 percent from the previous year.

The United States reportedly demanded some 5 billion U.S. dollars from South Korea for this year's defense cost.

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