The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives released a draft of the annual defense authorization bill that will require the U.S. to maintain 28-thousand-500 U.S. servicemembers in South Korea.
The text of the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2024 released on Thursday also calls on the U.S. to enhance its extended deterrence for South Korea.
It also requires the Department of Defense to report to Congress regarding progress in Washington’s transfer of wartime operational control to Seoul.
The draft contains Congress’ perception that the U.S. must continue to make efforts to strengthen cooperation with its military allies in the Indo-Pacific region in order to expand its comparative advantage in competition with China.
The legislation also calls on the defense secretary to reinforce the country’s alliance with South Korea through the continued presence of some 28-thousand-500 troops and the affirmation of Washington’s commitment to extended deterrence using the full range of its defense capabilities.
It also calls on the U.S. to deepen cooperation in nuclear deterrence as emphasized in the Washington Declaration adopted during President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the U.S. on April 26.
The compromise bill will be voted on by the full House and Senate and sent to President Joe Biden for his signature upon passing.