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U.S. official puts pressure on S. Korea for defense cost sharing

U.S. official puts pressure on S. Korea for defense cost sharing

Posted May. 16, 2020 07:48,   

Updated May. 16, 2020 07:48


Clark Cooper, U.S. assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs, put pressure on South Korea again on Thursday (local time) regarding negotiations on defense cost sharing between South Korea and the U.S., emphasizing that the U.S. has been showing flexibility.

“The negotiations have not suspended. Ideas exchanged between the two countries are revealed outside the government channels of Seoul or Washington,” the assistant secretary of state said during a video press conference on Thursday to a question asking the status of negotiations after the U.S. made a counter proposal of 1.3 billion dollars for South Korea’s share of defense costs last month. He also said that the two countries have come a long way since the beginning of negotiations a year ago, adding, “We have made self-adjustments and shown flexibility during the process of negotiations.”

His statements seem to repeat the U.S. side’s argument, in which the country has flexibly lowered its demand from five billion dollars to 1.3 billion dollars, and ask for a change of attitude on the South Korean side. “We recognize the need to reach a place that can be well accepted by both President Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump, as well as the two governments,” said Cooper. “We will continue our efforts to this end.”

Ga-In Koo comedy9@donga.com