Clarke Cooper, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, said Thursday that the U.S. can decisively say that negotiations are continuing and the talks have never ended. His remarks were made during a video press briefing on the progress of the South Korea-U.S. defense cost-sharing negotiations. He denied the observation that the negotiations between the two countries have been provisionally settled, and claimed as Washington’s putting additional pressure on South Korea at the pretext of “fairness and mutual benefit.”
The U.S. assistant Secretary of State said that negotiation are underway between Seoul and Washington through video conference adding that what both sides need to remember is that negotiations are conditional. The intention is to strengthen the alliance and keep it in a position to benefit each other, and if an agreement is reached, it must be a fair agreement, he added.
In an e-mail to South Korean correspondents to Washington D.C. on the same day, a U.S. State Department official also said that negotiations with South Korea are still in progress and President Donald Trump has constantly made it clear that our allies should make more contributions. Washington will continue to discuss a mutually beneficial and impartial agreement with South Korea, which will strengthen both our alliance and joint defense, the official added.
Meanwhile, Bruce Klingner, a senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation, said in an in interview with Voice of America that in order to resolve this issue, the leaders of the two countries will need to make a decisive resolution, adding that even if working-level officials reach an agreement, the issue will not be resolved without agreement between their leaders.
Yong Park firstname.lastname@example.org