President Trump decided early in his presidency that South Korea should pay more of the cost of keeping US ground troops in South Korea. This week, there were three days of talks on the matter in Seoul, which ended in failure.
South Korea already pays the US for some of its costs, and has agreed in principle to keep doing so, though the current deal expires this year. The US is pushing for more money, based on Trump’s demands.
Officials familiar with the talks say that there is broad agreement “on almost all elements,” except for the one that really matters, the dollar amount. Without that, there was no way to finalize the deal.
Reports suggest the US wants South Korea to pay $1.2 billion annually, a substantial increase from the $850 million they have been paying under the existing deal. South Korean officials aren’t being clear how much they’re offering.