Seoul and Washington formally signed the 11th Special Measures Agreement Thursday, a six-year defense cost-sharing deal, after 18 months of negotiations.
Seoul and Washington agreed to a six-year defense cost-sharing deal, with Korea paying 1.1833 trillion won ($1.037 billion) in 2021, an unprecedented 13.9 percent increase from the previous year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed Wednesday.
Korea and the United States reached agreement on defense cost-sharing Sunday after 18 months of wrangling and threats by the Donald Trump administration to charge Seoul up to $5 billion per year.
Seoul’s chief negotiator for the defense cost-sharing agreement pledged he will do his “utmost” to conclude negotiations for the bilateral Special Measures Agreement (SMA) as he departed for Washington Thursday for talks with his U.S. counterpart.
The Korean and U.S. negotiators for the defense cost-sharing agreement held their first talks since the U.S. presidential election, agreeing to swiftly reach a “fair and mutually acceptable deal,” Seoul’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.
Seoul and Washington agreed to launch a new working-level dialogue channel to discuss alliance matters, said Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun Thursday after talks with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun in Washington.
The U.S. State Department on Monday named Donna Welton as its new chief negotiator to the deadlocked defense cost-sharing talks with Seoul.
James DeHart, the chief negotiator for defense cost-sharing with Korea, has been tapped by the United States as the new coordinator for the Arctic region, despite the absence of a deal between the two sides.
Democrats in the United States will push to "repair" Washington’s alliance with Seoul, according to a draft of the party’s 2020 platform that accuses U.S. President Donald Trump of trying to “extort” South Korea over defense cost-sharing.