The United States walked out of security negotiations with South Korea on increasing Seoul’s contribution to the cost of American troops on its soil. The US blamed South Korea for not responding to their request of a fair and equitable burden-sharing.
“We came to Seoul prepared to listen and with open minds, and even prepared to adjust our stance as needed in order to move towards a mutually acceptable agreement,” said James P. DeHart, senior advisor for security negotiations and agreements.
“Unfortunately, the proposals that were put forward by the Korean negotiating team were not responsive to our request for fair and equitable burden-sharing,” he added.
DeHart, who recently assumed his duties in the US Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, said that they wanted to give Seoul some time to reconsider and put forward new proposals. The US diplomat opined that there should be enabling proposals to work towards a “mutually acceptable agreement in the spirit of our great alliance”.
US President Donald Trump has been critical of South Korea’s contribution towards the cost of hosting American troops on its land. In August, Trump called South Korea a wealthy nation and announced that it had agreed to contribute more money to defend itself from North Korea.
South Korea has agreed to pay substantially more money to the United States in order to defend itself from North Korea. Over the past many decades, the U.S. has been paid very little by South Korea, but last year, at the request of President Trump, South Korea paid $990,000,000..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
...Talks have begun to further increase payments to the United States. South Korea is a very wealthy nation that now feels an obligation to contribute to the military defense provided by the United States of America. The relationship between the two countries is a very good one!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
South Korea has been wary of North’s rampant missile tests and has been taking help of the United States to strengthen its defence program. Looking at a possible threat from the neighbour, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had also announced his plan to increase the defence budget by 7 per cent which will cross the 50-trillion won mark.