WB cooperates with S. Korea, to support in N. Korea

WB cooperates with S. Korea, to support in N. Korea

That's 8.two percent more than Seoul contributed last year, reflecting a rise in South Korea's defense budget this year.

Yonhap news agency said members of the parliamentary delegation quoted Biegun as saying that while there had been agreement on the summit agenda, the two sides would seek to narrow their differences in the next round of talks.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, where the United States has maintained a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.

At their first meeting in Singapore past year, the notoriously unpredictable US president had made a shock decision to suspend US-South Korea military drills.

Last year, South Korea provided about 960 billion won, roughly 40 per cent of the cost of the deployment of 28,500 U.S. soldiers whose presence is meant to deter aggression from North Korea.

The president had been harping about South Korea not paying its fair share since the 2016 campaign, making this new agreement a clear victory for his policy of getting other nations to pay more for USA force protection.

South Korean officials have said they had sought to limit its burden to $1 trillion won and make the accord valid for at least three years.

Last month, a senior South Korean ruling party legislator said negotiations were deadlocked after the U.S. made a "sudden, unacceptable" demand that Seoul pay more than 1.4 trillion won ($1.2bn) per year.

About 70 percent of South Korea's payment funds the salaries of some 8,700 South Korean workers who provide administrative, technical, and other services for the US military.

The production came in spite of nuclear talks with the USA led by the historic summit in Singapore last June. Although North Korea has made no official announcement about the summit so far, political experts are not seeing it in a negative light.

In order for Pyongyang to have any chance at hosting, North Korea will have to show a willingness to break down their nuclear program, in which President Donald Trump's summit in Hanoi at the end of the month with Kim Jong-Un will be vital.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Timothy Betts, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements in the U.S. Department of State, talk during their meeting at Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, February 10, 2019. But on Sunday, South Korea's foreign ministry said in a statement that the United States had affirmed it would not be changing the scale of its troop presence.

They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back some of US troops in South Korea, as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "These capabilities continue to hold the United States, the Republic of Korea and our regional allies at risk".

The South Korean Parliament has to approve the agreement before it becomes final. USA intelligence is not certain how many nuclear warheads North Korea has.

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