US, South Korea Cost-Sharing Talks Continue Amid Protests of ‘Robbery’

South Korean groups blast 'greedy' Trump demands

US and South Korean officials have returned to the negotiating table Monday, trying to work out a cost-sharing deal for US military costs in Korea, between the $920 million annual payment agreed upon, and the $4.7 billion that President Trump suddenly demanded this month.

Defense officials have struggled to justify the costs as part of US expenses, and rather seem to be focusing on the idea that South Korea has a strong economy and could easily afford the demand without asking too many questions.

In South Korea, however, there is growing criticism of the demand as “highway robbery,” and protests against the “greedy” Americans. US negotiators downplayed that, and expressed optimism that a deal could be made.

South Korean officials have similarly said that they do not believe US troops will be reduced, even though the indications are that South Koren doesn’t intend to pay anywhere near the current demands.

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.