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South Korea, US sign new cost-sharing deal for US troops

AP  |  Seoul 

and the struck a new deal Sunday on how much should pay for the presence on its soil, said, after previous rounds of failed negotiations caused worries about their decades-long alliance.

Last year, provided about USD 830 million, roughly 40 percent of the cost of the deployment of 28,500 US soldiers whose presence is meant to deter aggression from has said should pay more.

The allies had failed to reach a new cost-sharing plan during some 10 rounds of talks. On Sunday, Seoul's said the countries signed a new deal. A five-year 2014 deal that covered South Korea's payment last year had expired at the end of 2018.

Some conservatives in South Korea voiced concerns over a weakening alliance with the amid a stalemate in negotiations with to deprive it of its nuclear weapons. They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back some of US troops in South Korea, as a in talks with North Korean leader Un.

Trump told CBS' "Face the Nation" last Sunday that he has no plans to withdraw troops from South Korea.

Trump announced last week that he will sit down with Kim for a second summit in Hanoi, in late February. Their first summit in last June resulted in Kim's vague commitment to "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," a term that his propaganda machine previously used when it argued it would only denuclearize after the U.S. withdraws its troops from South Korea.

The South Korean ministry hasn't immediately revealed the exact amount of money would pay this year under the new deal.

agency reported that South Korea will provide about 1.04 trillion won (USD 924 million) in 2019. said the US had previously demanded 1.13 trillion won (USD 1 billion) from South Korea.

The arrived in South Korea to disarm Japan, which colonized the from 1910-45, following its World War II defeat. Most US troops were withdrawn in 1949 but they returned the next year to fight alongside South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korea began paying for the deployment in the early 1990s, after rebuilding its war-devastated economy. The big US military presence in South Korea is a symbol of the countries' alliance, forged in blood during the war, but also a source of long-running anti-American sentiments.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 10 2019. 13:05 IST
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