US considers pulling up to 4,000 troops from South Korea: Report

2019/11/1574313834.jpg
Read: 500     10:35     21 November 2019    

The United States is considering a significant cut to its troop numbers in South Korea if Seoul does not contribute more to the cost of the deployment, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on Thursday.


The US broke off talks on defence costs with South Korea this week after demanding Seoul raise its annual contribution to $5bn, more than five times what it pays now, in a rare public display of discord in the alliance.

Neither side has publicly confirmed the numbers, but US President Donald Trump has said the US military presence in and around South Korea was "$5bn worth of protection".

"I understand that the US is preparing to withdraw one brigade in case negotiations with South Korea do not go as well as President Trump wants," a diplomatic source in Washington with knowledge of the negotiations was cited as saying by Chosun Ilbo.

A typical US military brigade numbers about 3,000 to 4,000 troops. There are about 28,500 American troops currently stationed in South Korea, which remains technically in a state of war with nuclear-armed neighbour North Korea following a 1950-1953 conflict.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he was not aware of any plans to withdraw 4,000 troops from South Korea if cost-sharing talks failed.

"We're not threatening allies over this. This is a negotiation," he told reporters during a trip to Vietnam.

South Korea's defence ministry said the Chosun report was "not the official position of the US government".

Al Jazeera



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News Line

US considers pulling up to 4,000 troops from South Korea: Report

2019/11/1574313834.jpg
Read: 501     10:35     21 November 2019    

The United States is considering a significant cut to its troop numbers in South Korea if Seoul does not contribute more to the cost of the deployment, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on Thursday.


The US broke off talks on defence costs with South Korea this week after demanding Seoul raise its annual contribution to $5bn, more than five times what it pays now, in a rare public display of discord in the alliance.

Neither side has publicly confirmed the numbers, but US President Donald Trump has said the US military presence in and around South Korea was "$5bn worth of protection".

"I understand that the US is preparing to withdraw one brigade in case negotiations with South Korea do not go as well as President Trump wants," a diplomatic source in Washington with knowledge of the negotiations was cited as saying by Chosun Ilbo.

A typical US military brigade numbers about 3,000 to 4,000 troops. There are about 28,500 American troops currently stationed in South Korea, which remains technically in a state of war with nuclear-armed neighbour North Korea following a 1950-1953 conflict.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he was not aware of any plans to withdraw 4,000 troops from South Korea if cost-sharing talks failed.

"We're not threatening allies over this. This is a negotiation," he told reporters during a trip to Vietnam.

South Korea's defence ministry said the Chosun report was "not the official position of the US government".

Al Jazeera



Tags: