DeHart reportedly demands five time more for 11th SMA, including military asset management cost
Updated: 2019-11-07 13:29:14 KST
With James DeHart, the top U.S. negotiator in defense cost-sharing talks in Seoul, sources say the United States is demanding South Korea pay as much as five times more in 2020 compared to this year's 10th Special Measures Agreement.
The U.S. is also reportedly demanding Seoul pay for U.S. military asset management costs related to security on the Korean Peninsula.
This means DeHart pressed South Korea to pay for U.S. military assets stationed outside of the Korean Peninsula.
It would mean Seoul would have to bear the cost of asset management at other U.S. bases such as Guam and Hawaii, assets which would be deployed to the peninsula in case of an emergency.
To meet Washington's demands for the 11th Special Measures Agreement, Seoul would have to pay five times more in 2020, a figure approaching five billion dollars.
Officials in Seoul say it's unfair to share the cost of U.S. forces that are not even in Korea.
Yoon Sang-hyun, a lawmaker for South Korea's main opposition Liberty Korea Party and Chairman of the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee met with DeHart on Wednesday.
Yoon said he raised Seoul's concerns that an excessive demand could adversely affect the alliance, which is based on trust and friendship.
With the third round of negotiations to be held in Seoul later this month, watchers say the unpredictable nature of President Trump and South Korea's unwillingness to pay so much means the U.S. could use troop reduction as a negotiating card.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.