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Biegun Calls for 'Renewal' of S. Korea-US Alliance

Written: 2019-11-22 10:07:19Updated: 2019-11-22 10:38:32

Biegun Calls for 'Renewal' of S. Korea-US Alliance

Photo : YONHAP News

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun reportedly called for a "renewal" of the South Korea-U.S. alliance.

Biegun, the nominee for deputy secretary of state, made the remarks on Thursday during a meeting with South Korean political party floor leaders at the State Department in Washington.

After the meeting, Na Kyung-won, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, told reporters that Biegun used the expression "renewal of the South Korea-U.S. alliance," saying that she interpreted the remarks as a call for Seoul to increase its contribution to the upkeep of American troops stationed in South Korea.

Floor leader Oh Shin-hwan of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party, who also attended the meeting, said that Biegun foresaw difficult negotiations ahead on the defense cost-sharing issue.

Biegun reportedly used the expressions "rejuvenation" and "renewal" of the South Korea-U.S. alliance during the meeting, raising speculation that the U.S.' calls for a sharp increase in Seoul's contribution to defense costs are possibly linked to an intent to reset the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
Na and Oh were in Washington along with ruling Democratic Party floor leader Lee In-young as part of a bipartisan parliamentary delegation delivering South Korea's concerns that the U.S. is asking for an excessive amount from Seoul in regards to defense cost contributions.

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