U.S. President Donald Trump started oppressing the South Korean government again on Tuesday to raise Seoul’s share of the expenses for U.S. Forces Korea for the following few years. It has been just two days since Seoul and Washington signed a new cost-sharing pact. Therefore, more government officials are now worried that Washington's request to increase Seoul's share will begin at the next cost-sharing negotiation while the validity term of the cost-sharing pact has been reduced to one year from five years.
“It’s got to go up. It will go up for the next few years," President Trump said at a Cabinet meeting on the day, with regards to the result of cost-sharing negotiations for keeping U.S. forces in South Korea. “South Korea agreed to pay 500 million dollars more. 500 million dollars is just a few phone calls.”
Seoul’s share based on the new cost-sharing pact, however, was 1.0389 trillion won, a 78.7 billion won higher than the previous share, which means that additional payment of 500 million dollars is not true.” Meanwhile, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told journalists Wednesday before heading for a trip to Poland to attend a security conference, and revealed that the “Amount (Korea and the U.S.) agreed upon is clearly 1.0389 trillion won.”
In this context, some government officials say that the "500 million dollars" President Trump mentioned was a misunderstanding that the South Korea-U.S. negotiation was settled at 1.4 billion dollars, which was Washington's initial request. Or it could be part of President Trump’s unique conversation style that he will request such amount during the negotiation for next year.
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