US Seeks to Create Operational Support Category in Defense Cost Deal

Write : 2018-07-24 13:47:29 Update : 2018-07-24 15:02:34

US Seeks to Create Operational Support Category in Defense Cost Deal

The U.S. is seeking to add a new category to a defense cost sharing agreement with South Korea in a bid to raise Seoul's share for maintaining American troops in the South.  

A Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday that the U.S. demanded creating a new category of operational support in the Special Measures Agreement(SMA), which currently consists of three sectors--payroll, construction and logistics. 

In response, South Korea repeated its position that the U.S.' demand is unacceptable, since the SMA is about costs related to keeping U.S. forces stationed in Korea. 

The two countries have held five sessions of the tenth SMA negotiations since March. The latest round was held for two days last week in the U.S. city of Tacoma, south of Seattle. The next session is to open in August in South Korea. 

Seoul is paying around 960 billion won this year to maintain U.S. troops in Korea under the latest five-year accord signed in 2014. The two allies have to soon renew the deal, which expires this year.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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