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S. Korea, US to Hold Defense Cost-Sharing Talks in Seoul

Written: 2024-05-21 08:51:23Updated: 2024-05-21 13:13:06

S. Korea, US to Hold Defense Cost-Sharing Talks in Seoul

Photo : YONHAP News

South Korea and the United States will hold their second round of talks in Seoul this week on the sharing of costs for the upkeep of U.S. Forces Korea. 

The negotiations for the 12th Special Measures Agreement(SMA) will be led by Lee Tae-woo, South Korea's chief negotiator from the foreign ministry, and his U.S. counterpart, Linda Specht from the State Department. 

In the second round of talks set for Tuesday to Thursday, the two sides are expected to launch negotiations in earnest regarding the size of each side’s contribution to defense costs.

The two sides formed their respective negotiating teams in early March and held the first round of talks in Hawaii from April 23 to 25 to exchange their basic positions. 

Last week, the foreign ministry said the government plans to proceed with consultations under the principle that its share for the defense costs should be kept to a “reasonable level” to create stable conditions for U.S. troops stationed in the country and to strengthen the joint South Korea-U.S. defense.

Arriving in South Korea on Saturday, Specht told reporters that the talks are about the importance of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, their relationships as two countries and the support they give one another, adding that she was looking forward to a good set of talks.

The current SMA is set to expire at the end of 2025.

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