Seoul, Washington Sign New Defence Pact| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 24 January 2022 01:53 GMT

Seoul, Washington Sign New Defence Pact

(MENAFN- Qatar News Agency)   South Korea and the United States signed a new pact Sunday on sharing the costs of keeping American troops in South Korea, Yonhap news agency said quoting the foreign ministry here.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and US Ambassador to South Korea Sung Kim signed the renewal of the Special Measure Agreement (SMA), aimed at jointly footing the cost of stationing the 28,500 United States Forces Korea (USFK) troops, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affair

Under the new five-year pact, South Korea is to pay 920 Billion won (US$858.2 Million) this year, which represents a 5.8% increase from what it paid last year under the previous SM

The pact will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval before taking effect, the ministry sai

"The latest defence cost sharing agreement is the first bilateral South Korea-U.S. alliance pact signed since the new government took office (in South Korea), and it is expected to greatly boost the South Korea-U.

Alliance and their mutual trust," the ministry's statement said. After months of tough negotiations, the two allies struck their ninth SMA last mont

The pact, however, is likely to face some difficulties going through the parliament with some lawmakers criticizing the sharp increase in South Korea's share in the agreement, Yonhap sai

Civic activists and lawmakers here have opposed such an increase, given the data showing that the U.

Is sitting on more than 1 trillion won of unspent defence funds paid by Seoul

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