WSJ: S. Korea Is Paying 80% of Defense Cost for USFK Including Rent

Write : 2018-05-14 17:55:04 Update : 2018-05-14 18:48:43

WSJ: S. Korea Is Paying 80% of Defense Cost for USFK Including Rent

The Wall Street Journal says South Korea is paying up to 80 percent of the joint defense cost for U.S. Forces Korea if the rent for the U.S. bases is taken into account. 

The paper reported the new figure on Monday which paints a different picture to that presented by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has regularly complained that Seoul should foot more of the cost for U.S. troops in South Korea. However, the WSJ said Washington does not consider Seoul’s biggest contribution, which is the provision of rent-free land. 

According to military documents from both allies, South Korea is shouldering 42 percent of the roughly two-billion-dollar annual cost for stationing the USFK. 

However, the paper quoted a South Korean lawmaker as saying that figure is unfair as it does not include rent for the land that South Korea is providing for free. 

Based on its own calculation including the rent, the WSJ argues South Korea is actually paying 80 percent of the shared defense cost. 

South Korea and the U.S. are scheduled to hold a third round of negotiations on renewing their defense cost sharing agreement in Washington on Monday and Tuesday.  

South Korea and the U.S. have been adopting special accords on sharing defense costs to keep U.S. forces in the South since 1991. The current accord will expire on December 31st. 

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