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Washington DC and The Holy Land>South Korea signs deal to pay more for U.S. troops after Trump demand
T-post Tom 12:38 AM 02-10-2019
SEOUL (Reuters) - Officials signed a short-term agreement on Sunday to boost South Korea’s contribution toward the upkeep of U.S. troops on the peninsula, after a previous deal lapsed amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for the South to pay more.

The new deal must still be approved by South Korea’s parliament, but it would boost its contribution to 1.03 trillion won ($890 million) from 960 billion won in 2018.

Unlike past agreements, which lasted for five years, this one is scheduled to expire in a year, potentially forcing both sides back to the bargaining table within months.

“It has been a very long process, but ultimately a very successful process,” South Korean Foreign Minister Kyung-wha told reporters before another official from the foreign ministry initialed the agreement.

While acknowledging lingering domestic criticism of the new deal and the need for parliamentary approval, Kang said the response had “been positive so far”.

U.S. State Department senior adviser for security negotiations and agreements, Timothy Betts, met Kang before signing the agreement on behalf of the United States, and told reporters the money represented a small but important part of South Korea’s support for the alliance.

“The United States government realizes that South Korea does a lot for our alliance and for peace and stability in this region,” he said.

About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, where the United States has maintained a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The allies had struggled to reach a breakthrough despite 10 rounds of talks since March, amid Trump’s repeated calls for a sharp increase in South Korea’s contribution.

South Korean officials have said they had sought to limit its burden to $1 trillion won and make the accord valid for at least three years.

A senior South Korean ruling party legislator said last month that negotiations were deadlocked after the United States made a “sudden, unacceptable” demand that Seoul pay more than 1.4 trillion won per year.

But both sides worked to hammer out a deal to minimize the impact of the lapse on South Korean workers on U.S. military bases, and focus on nuclear talks ahead of a second U.S.-North Korea summit, Seoul officials said.

Trump said in his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam, following their unprecedented meeting in June in Singapore.

After the June summit, Trump announced a halt to joint military exercises with South Korea, saying they were expensive and paid for mostly by the United States.

Major joint exercises have been suspended, but some small-scale drills have continued, earning rebukes from North Korea’s state media in recent months.

About 70 percent of South Korea’s contribution covers the salaries of some 8,700 South Korean employees who provide administrative, technical and other services for the U.S. military.

Late last year, the U.S. military warned Korean workers on its bases they might be put on leave from mid-April if no deal was agreed.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-southkorea-troops/south-korea-signs-deal-to-pay-more-for-u-s-troops-after-trump-demand-idUSKCN1PZ03Q?il=0

[Reply]
Bowser 03:38 PM 02-10-2019
This is great news
[Reply]
NinerDoug 11:28 AM 02-11-2019
Good.
[Reply]
Randallflagg 11:33 AM 02-11-2019
I think this is fine. When I was stationed in Germany (at the height of the Cold War) I "guess" I understood the need for US Troops there - What with the USSR threatening to come across the Fulda Gap - but it was always understood that should they attack - we were screwed. Not enough men and material to stop them.

South Korea, on the other hand is still in flux - all these years later. That crazy midget asshole in North Korea - one never knows what that jerk off might do. SO yeah, it's good to have Korea pay more of their "fair share".

Damn....I just sounded like Fauxcahontas....... :-)
[Reply]
crashcourse 11:53 AM 02-11-2019
korea is screwed if kim goes conventional artillery theyd wipe korea off the map
[Reply]
Cave Johnson 11:55 AM 02-11-2019
How many minutes of Trump’s unfunded cut will this cover??
[Reply]
Over Yonder 12:02 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Cave Johnson:
How many minutes of Trump’s unfunded cut will this cover??
A liberal, all of a sudden concerned with budget issues. You guys are like an open book, so easy to read. You crack me up :-)
[Reply]
Cave Johnson 12:06 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Over Yonder:
A liberal, all of a sudden concerned with budget issues. You guys are like an open book, so easy to read. You crack me up :-)
I believe in deficit spending during recessions and (at least some) fiscal discipline during booms.
[Reply]
Over Yonder 12:10 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Cave Johnson:
I believe in deficit spending during recessions and (at least some) fiscal discipline during booms.
Did you vote for Obama his second term? I'll give you a pass for his first term. We didn't know for sure what he would do the first go around.
[Reply]
Cave Johnson 12:23 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Over Yonder:
Did you vote for Obama his second term? I'll give you a pass for his first term. We didn't know for sure what he would do the first go around.
Under Obama we had tax increases and caps on discretionary spending increases, champ.
[Reply]
IowaHawkeyeChief 12:35 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Cave Johnson:
Under Obama we had tax increases and caps on discretionary spending increases, champ.
The tax increases were 95% related to Obamacare, and the rest mostly to tobacco and black liquor, which isn't what you think... These taxes stunted growth substantially.

Why did we have caps on discretionary spending? You know the answer, right?
[Reply]
Over Yonder 12:59 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Cave Johnson:
Under Obama we had tax increases and caps on discretionary spending increases, champ.
Amen on the tax increases. The man never met a pocket he didn't want to dig around in. :-)

And what difference does it make to have caps on discretionary spending if your STILL not balancing the budget? Here's a question I honestly don't know the answer to. Is the national debt increasing faster, slower, or about the same under Trump than it did under Obama?
[Reply]
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