Top U.S. negotiator for defense cost talks makes unofficial visit to Seoul ahead of negotiations
Updated: 2019-11-05 16:11:23 KST
The top U.S. negotiator for defense costs, James DeHart, has made a surprise visit to South Korea.
It's an unofficial trip, but it's drawn attention because Seoul and Washington will soon have another round of negotiations on sharing the costs of stationing U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.
During his four-day stay, DeHart is expected to sit down for a closed-door dinner with his South Korean counterpart Jeong Eun-bo and meet lawmakers and journalists.
The next round of talks is expected to be held later this month, although specifics have yet to be set.
The last round of negotiations took place in Hawaii late last month.
An official from Seoul's foreign ministry said DeHart is likely to check out public sentiment here for himself, and South Korea's stance on the matter before heading into the next round of talks.
Under this year's agreement South Korea agreed to pay 870 million dollars.
Next year, President Trump wants Seoul to pay billions more.