South Korea Warns Troop Talks Deadlocked on US Demands for More Funding

Trump Administration Hit South Korea With 'Sudden, Unacceptable Demands'

Negotiations between the Trump Administration and the South Korean government on funding for the large US force present on the Korean Peninsula has been deadlocked in recent weeks, with 10 rounds of talks failing to reach a deal. The Pentagon is now warning Korean workers they may be placed on leave in mid-April if a deal isn’t in place.

South Korea provides substantial funding for the US troops in their country, paying $848 million annually under the now-expired deal. This was estimated to be roughly half of overall talks. President Trump has been pushing for massively more than this.

South Korean officials had said they expected an increase, and offered one roughly in keeping with the rate of inflation. They say in December, the US made a “sudden, unacceptable demand” that South Korea start paying in excess of $1.25 billion annually.

South Korean officials don’t think they could get this through their parliament, with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha saying they are seeking an “affordable and explainable” alternative. Once the demand was made, the Trump Administration has held fast, however, and no further progress has been made.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.