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U.S. Put Pressure on Korea to Buy F-15

Posted November. 17, 2001 11:30,   


The Korea`s share of U.S. Forces Korea stationing expenses will reach 490 million dollars next year, increased by 10.4 percent from this year`s 444 million dollars. And both Korea and the U.S. agreed to increase the Korea`s portion by basic annual increase rate 8.8 percent plus the inflation rate (GDP Deflator) in 2003 and 2004, so that Korea`s share of military cost of the USFK is expected to unavoidably increase by about 10 percent every year.

Both Korea and the U.S. agreed on the increase of Korea`s military share in the 33rd Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) at Washington on 15th.

Deputy Defense Minister for policy Cha Young-Gu explained that the U.S. demanded to increase Korea`s share of USFK stationing expenses to a large scale, citing a cut of 85 million dollars during the money crisis in 1998 and a mounting need for funds for anti-terrorism war. We did our best to lower the increase scale.``

But since the agreed Korea`s share was 23 million dollars larger than the aimed amount of 467 million dollars, and the increase rate also was much higher than the increase rate of our military budget (6 percent), it might bring about the criticism that the Korea representatives submitted to U.S.`s pressure to yield such a shameful agreement.

Both Korea and the U.S. plan to finally determine the won-payment ratio and the standard money exchange rate in the high-ranking officials meeting at Seoul on 28th and 29th.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Defense Department put an indirect pressure on our government to buy the U.S.`s fighters in an official Korea-US defense ministers meeting, with regard to the fighter selection under the FX project of 4 trillion and 200 billion dollars.

Ministry of Defense Kim Dong-Shin said in a joint press conference after the SCM meeting, ``(During the meeting) the U.S. side raised the opinion about the FX project. I think that the interoperability and joint operation ability are the crucial elements to select the fighter model.``

And the participants said, Deputy secretary for policy of the U.S. Defense Department said ``The FX project is important not only for Korea but for the United States. I think that Boeing`s F-15K is the most suitable model for Korea`s national interests.``

Dong-Ki Sung estrit@donga.com