Korea, US sign W1.04 tril. cost-sharing deal for USFK


No further details of his schedule have been released by his North Korean hosts. On Sunday, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said the countries signed a new deal.

The new deal must still be approved by South Korea's Parliament, but it would boost the country's contribution to 1.03 trillion won (S$1.25 billion) from 960 billion won a year ago.

The deal will officially go into effect after it receives parliamentary approval in South Korea, which is expected to take place in April, according to Yonhap news agency.

Seoul and Washington have held 10 rounds of talks since March, amid Trump's calls for South Korea to pay more.

South Korea's officials have said they had sought to limit its burden to 1 trillion won and make the accord valid for at least three years.

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Seoul contributed around 960 billion won past year - more than 40 percent of the total bill - financing the construction of American military facilities and paying South Korean civilians working on USA bases.

The allies worked to finalize an agreement in order to minimize the impact on South Koreans working on US military bases, and focus on nuclear talks ahead of a second U.S.

But South Korean officials yesterday told Yonhap news agency that the USA had affirmed it would not be changing its troop presence.

Trump has complained that maintaining troops in South Korea is too expensive and said in the past that he would like to bring them home.

The official Special Measures Agreement (SMA) will be officially signed by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris after Cabinet members and President Moon Jae-in approve the preliminary document.

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In order for Pyongyang to have any chance at hosting, North Korea will have to show a willingness to break down their nuclear program, in which President Donald Trump's summit in Hanoi at the end of the month with Kim Jong-Un will be vital.

Trump, who has been a vocal critic of other nations failing to contribute for US military presence around the world, highlighted the cost of keeping troops in South Korea during an interview earlier this month.

Late past year, the USA military had warned South Korean workers on its bases they might be put on leave from mid-April if no deal was agreed.

The report also said supporters of liberal and moderate political parties across all regions and age groups below 60 held optimistic sentiments about the summit's outcome, while those who backed conservative parties were mostly negative.

Major joint exercises have been suspended, but some small-scale drills have continued, earning rebukes from North Korea's state media in recent months.

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