South Korean and U.S. officials resumed talks on Monday to narrow a $4 billion gap in how much they want Seoul to pay for the cost of hosting the American military amid public protests of “highway robbery” against sharply increased U.S. demands.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand that Seoul take on a greater share of the cost of stationing 28,500 U.S. troops as deterrence against North Korea has tested South Korea’s confidence in the security alliance with Washington.
Reports of Trump’s $5 billion demand earlier this month were greeted with shock in Seoul and on Monday, progressive groups protested at the negotiation venue against what they said was “highway robbery” by “greedy” Americans.
South Korea’s negotiating team is led by a former top financial regulator with experience in tough bargaining at times of crisis for Asia’s fourth-largest economy, unprecedented in fronting a non-military expert in nearly 30 years of talks for the cost-sharing deals. Read More