US Military Places Thousands of Koreans on Unpaid Leave Over Cost-Sharing

South Korea: Move does not reflect state of negotiations

US demands for vastly more South Korean funding to defray the cost of military deployments on the Korean Peninsula remain unresolved. On Tuesday, the US military announced that they are placing over 4,000 civilian employees from South Korea on unpaid leave over the dispute.

This is roughly half of the workers at the base, and the layoffs could last for a long time, as Trump’s demand for a five-fold increase is not going to be accepted. South Korean officials, however, say the furloughs are hasty, and don’t reflect the state of the negotiations.

A cost-sharing agreement has historically been in place with South Korea, but expired last year. There was a deal in place for a substantial increase in South Korea’s contribution, but then the US came up with a much bigger demand, and now it’s in limbo.

US Forces Korea downplayed the matter, emphasizing the “generous” move they’d made in keeping the other half of the Koreans employed. There is no word on when the next round of negotiations is to take place.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.