South Korea, US To Start New Round Of Military Cost-Sharing Deal Talks On Monday

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th November, 2019) South Korea and the United States will start another round of talks on sharing the cost of the maintenance of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) on Monday.

The talks in Seoul will be led by South Korean top negotiator, Jeong Eun-bo, and his US counterpart, James DeHart. The negotiations will last till Tuesday.

The maintenance costs of the US military personnel stationed in South Korea have long been an issue of controversy between Seoul and Washington. The matter is regulated under the bilateral Special Measures Agreement (SMA), renewable every five years. The latest SMA expired last December.

The 28,500-strong USFK contingent has been present in South Korea since 1991. Scattered across the country, the military has been occupying some of the most valuable real estates in prime locations, including in Seoul. The SMA stipulates that the costs of stationing the troops be shared between Washington and Seoul, but the countries have drastically disagreed on how much each side should contribute.