Source: China State Council Information Office
Negotiators from South Korea and the United States will hold talks in Los Angeles next week over the sharing of the upkeep cost for the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), Seoul’s foreign ministry said Friday.
The seventh round of negotiations for the 11th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), a South Korea-U.S. accord to share defense cost for about 28,500 U.S. troops stationed here, would be held in the U.S. city on March 17-18.
The latest negotiation was held in Washington D.C. in mid-January.
The Seoul ministry said South Korea will closely consult with the U.S. side to reach a mutually acceptable agreement as rapidly as possible under a basic principle of sharing the upkeep cost at a fair and reasonable level.
The 10th SMA, which was reached in March last year, expired at the end of 2019.
Under the 10th SMA, South Korea paid 1.04 trillion won (about 850 million U.S. dollars) last year for the stationing of U.S. soldiers, up 8.2 percent from the previous year.
The United States reportedly demanded a sharp growth in contribution from the South Korean side for this year’s defense cost.
Since 1991, South Korea has shared the upkeep cost for U.S. forces here, including costs for South Korean civilians hired by the USFK, construction of military installations and logistics support.
The USFK said in late February that it issued an advance notice of possible furlough to South Korean employees as the cost-sharing deal remained in deadlock.