US, South Korea Reach Agreement ‘In Principle’ on Cost-Sharing for US Troops

Deal falls far short of Trump's previous demands

The US and South Korea have reached an agreement “in principle” on the new level of cost-sharing between the two sides on US military forces deployed in the Korean Peninsula. This ends months of roadblocks in talks.

Under the past deal, South Korea was paying $848 million annually, about half the overall cost of the deployment. When the deal expired South Korea expressed openness to a slight increase in keeping with the rate of inflation. Trump, however, demanded a minimum 50% increase over the old deal.

Exact terms have not been published, but seem closer to what South Korea was offering in the first place, with estimates saying it would remain less than $1 billion annually, far less than the $1.25 billion Trump sought.

With the old deal expiring at the end of December, there was no current deal in place, and many in South Korea were expecting Trump to threaten a pullout, though Trump has maintained that he never has.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.