With the two-day high-level talks on defense cost-sharing between South Korea and the U.S. being held in Washington D.C. from Tuesday(local time), Washington is reportedly reviewing an option to recognize the deployment of South Korean troops to the Strait of Hormuz as Seoul’s contribution to the costs of stationing U.S. troops in South Korea.
An official in the Trump administration who is familiar with the talks said that the U.S. is considering recognizing the deployment of South Korean troops to the Strait of Hormuz as South Korea’s contribution to bilateral cooperation and reflect it in the defense cost-sharing negotiations.
As to whether South Korea’s contribution is limited to the deployment of troops to join the U.S.-led International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) or includes other types of maritime security operations or contributions, the official said many options are possible and further discussions could take place depending on South Korea’s decisions. Mentioning the foreign ministers’ meeting between South Korea and the U.S. in San Francisco, the official said the meeting could have an impact on Washington’s defense cost-sharing negotiations with Seoul.
Attending a bilateral meeting between South Korea and the U.S., and a trilateral meeting between South Korea, the U.S., and Japan in San Francisco, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for collective efforts to safeguard the Strait of Hormuz and contribute to the stability of the Middle East.
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