US troops on Montana Range in South Korea (Picture: US Department of Defense).
USA

South Korea Strike Deal With US For Troops

Reports suggest the deal is worth around 1.04 trillion won ($924 million).

US troops on Montana Range in South Korea (Picture: US Department of Defense).

US troops on Montana Range in South Korea (Picture: US Department of Defense).

South Korea and the United States have reached a new deal on how much Seoul should pay for the US military presence on its soil.

The two nations had failed to reach a new-cost sharing plan despite numerous rounds of talks. But South Korea's Foreign Ministry confirmed a new deal had been signed on Sunday - replacing the previous deal that expired at the end of 2018.

Yonhap news agency reported that South Korea will provide about 1.04 trillion won ($924 million) in 2019. Yonhap said the US had previously demanded 1.13 trillion won ($1 billion dollars) from South Korea.

The South Korean ministry has not yet revealed the exact amount of money Seoul would pay this year under the new deal.

US helicopters at Camp Humphreys in South Korea (Picture: US Department of Defense).
US helicopters at Camp Humphreys in South Korea (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Conservatives in South Korea voiced concerns over a weakening alliance with the US, amid a stalemate in negotiations with North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

They said US President Donald Trump might use the failed cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back some US troops in South Korea, as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. 

President Trump told the media last week that he has no plans to withdraw troops from the country.

He has since announced that he will meet Mr Kim for a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, at the end of the month.

President Trump with Mr Kim at their first summit (Picture: PA).
President Trump with Mr Kim at their first summit (Picture: PA).

The first summit saw Mr Kim commit to "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", although little headway has seemed to have been made since. 

The US military first arrived in South Korea to disarm Japan, which colonised the Korean Peninsula from 1910-45, following its Second World War defeat.

Most US troops were withdrawn in 1949 but they returned the next year to fight alongside South Korea in the Korean War.

South Korea began paying for the US military deployment in the early 1990s, after rebuilding its war-devastated economy.