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S. Korea and U.S. opens the last defense cost talks of the year

한미방위비 분담금 연내 마지막 담판 돌입

S. Korea and U.S. opens the last defense cost talks of the year


Representatives from South Korea and the United States met at the Korean Institute for Defense Analysis (KIDA) for the resolution of the Special Measures Agreements (SMA) on Tuesday. The negotiation will proceed until Wednesday to discuss the current defense cost sharing, which ends on December 31st.


For South Korea, the Chief Negotiator of the SMA, Jeong Eun Bo (정은보), faced James Dehart, the Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements of the United States.


The main controversy is the demanded payment amount for the United States upkeep of the 28,500 U.S Forces Korea (USFK), tallied at 5 billion US dollars. For this years SMA, Seoul paid 870 million dollars and it increased dramatically by more than 5 times.


Korean officials previously insisted that the agreement should proceed within the SMAs framework, which requires the nation to pay shared costs for employees in USFA installation, military facilities construction and assistance expenses.


However, the US is requesting South Korea to pay more money for the allied forces.  


The meeting is known to be the 5th meeting for the 11th SMA. The two countries met twice in Seoul in September, Hawaii last month, and in Washington this month to reach an agreement on the SMA as well.

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