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South Korea signs short-term deal to pay more for United States troops
13 February 2019, 01:44 | Devin Moran
Kang Kyung-wha South Korean Foreign Minister, says negotiations for new deal'long but successful
The report also said supporters of liberal and moderate political parties across all regions and age groups below 60 held optimistic sentiments about the summit's outcome, while those who backed conservative parties were mostly negative.
Malpass also appealed for South Korea's backing for his becoming the next president of the Washington-based lending institution. In their meeting, Kang said the allies were able to close the gap on the size of South Korea's contribution thanks to goodwill and trust.
The plans to co-bid for the 2032 Summer Games were discussed in September.
"The two countries reaffirmed. the importance of a strong South Korea-US alliance and the need for a stable stationing of the US troops", it said in a statement issued after a signing ceremony.
The disagreement had raised the prospect that Mr Trump could decide to withdraw at least some troops from South Korea, as he has done in other countries like Syria. Most U.S. troops were withdrawn in 1949 but they returned the next year to fight alongside South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War. He also has insisted that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members increase their contributions, and the issue is expected to arise soon in Japan in talks on funding the 50,000 US troops based there. "But it's an important part, and we are very pleased that our consultations resulted in an agreement", Betts said.
Kim Jong-un and Trump first met last June in Singapore, where they signed a vaguely worded document in which Kim pledged to work toward the "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula". The United Nations Security Council, with minimal opposition from China, responded with strict sanctions on several of North Korea's largest industries, including coal and seafood.
About 70 percent of South Korea's contribution covers the salaries of some 8,700 South Korean employees who provide administrative, technical and other services for the US military.
The agreement has yet to be ratified by South Korean lawmakers, which is a necessary step before the deal's terms go into effect, the BBC reported.
The U.S. military also enjoys less tangible benefits, including rent-free land for its bases and an exemption that allows government-operated vehicles to use expressways toll-free.
Seoul and Washington have held 10 rounds of talks since March, amid Trump's calls for South Korea to pay more.
But Trump told U.S. broadcaster CBS last week that he had "no plans" to remove U.S. troops from South Korea as part of a deal at the upcoming summit, although he admitted "maybe someday" he would withdraw them, adding: "It's very expensive to keep troops there".
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