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US and South Korea reach agreement on cost sharing for American troops

March 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 71.9%. 1 min read.

PANMUNJOM, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 16: U.S. and South Korean army soldiers stand guard during South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young's visit to Panmunjom between South and North Korea in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on September 16, 2020 in Panmunjom, South Korea. Unification Minister Lee In-young visit the truce village of Panmunjom for the first time since taking office, raising expectations he could send a message to North Korea amid stalled cross-border exchanges and cooperation. (Photo by Park Tae-hyun-Korea - Pool/Getty Images)

Washington and Seoul have agreed to a cost-sharing agreement for US forces based in South Korea, a US State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNN on Sunday.

(CNN)Washington and Seoul have agreed to a cost-sharing agreement for US forces based in South Korea, a US State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNN on Sunday.

Negotiations over the Special Measures Agreement, or SMA, had badly strained the US alliance with South Korea during the Trump administration after former President Donald Trump demanded Seoul pay up to 400% more for the presence of the 28,500 troops on the peninsula.

"We are pleased that U. S. and Republic of Korea negotiators have reached consensus on a proposed text of a Special Measures Agreement that will strengthen our Alliance and our shared defense," the spokesperson said.

Reaching a cost-sharing agreement had been expected to boost the US alliance with South Korea and fits into the Biden administration's goal of repairing alliances and returning to "regular order" -- engaging with allies using established, formal and accountable structures.

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