USA USA And South Korea reach agreement to finance Koreans working for U.S. forces in Korea

US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April 11, 2019.

The department said in a statement that the $ 200 million deal “is a direct reflection of the United States’ commitment to preparedness, with our Korean employees and with the Alliance,” the hub of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. ” . “

The Trump administration had originally sought last year for Seoul to pay some $ 1.6 billion for the cost of hosting US troops, but accepted the lower figure of $ 1 billion with the understanding that they could negotiate a new deal to 2020. No agreement was reached before. this year and the workers were laid off without pay.

“With respect to the expired (Special Measures Agreement), the Department of Defense believes that the equitable sharing of the burden between the governments of the United States and the Republic of Korea is the best for all parties,” the statement read. .

The department said that in the absence of an agreement, “critical defense infrastructure projects will remain suspended, all logistics support contracts for USFK will continue to be fully paid by the United States, and the burden sharing will remain out of balance for a Alliance that values ​​and desires parity “. ”

Several senior US military and defense officials. USA They had worried earlier this year that the two allies might not come to an agreement on the new cost-sharing formula, warning that up to 9,000 Korean workers could be fired as a result.

Officials said the situation could undermine the US military mission amid tensions with North Korea.

A senior State Department official told CNN in February that US officials had “adjusted our stance” over the course of six rounds of negotiations, saying they were not currently focused on getting South Koreans to increase the amount they pay in 400%. .

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