South Korean officials are expressing concerns that President Trump may
order a drawdown of troops from the Korean Peninsula, as negotiations on the funding of US troops deployed there hits an impasse.
In recent years, South Korea has paid about half of the cost of hosting US troops in Korea. In 2018 this cost them $830 million. Yet President Trump is seeking a massive increase in payments from South Korea, demanding a 50% increase on top of what they already pay.
Negotiations on these demands began in March, with the goal of reaching a new five-year deal before the previous deal expired. The deal has since expired, at the end of 2018, and now there is no deal in place at all.
South Korea is said to be planning a counteroffer which will offer to increase payments to adjust for inflation, though US officials say they don’t think this will satisfy the White House. At the same time, South Korean MPs say they don’t think they can afford to cave to “the Trumpian way” of demanding increases.
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