- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2019

President Trump said Wednesday that South Korea has agreed to pay “substantially more” for U.S. troops deployed there to defend against North Korea.

“South Korea and I have made a deal where they are going to be paying a lot more money,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “As you know, we got 32,000 soldiers on South Korean soil. We’ve been helping them for about 82 years. We get nothing.”

The South Korean foreign ministry said official talks haven’t begun.

“It is not appropriate to comment on another country’s leader’s comments on social media,” Seoul said in a statement.

Mr. Trump raised the issue again in a pair of early-morning tweets. North Korea has conducted several short-range missile tests in recent weeks, in response to new joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises that Pyongyang opposes.

“Talks have begun to further increase payments to the United States,” the president said. “South Korea is a very wealthy nation that now feels an obligation to contribute to the military defense provided by the United States of America. The relationship between the two countries is a very good one!”

He said Seoul “has agreed to pay substantially more money to the United States in order to defend itself from North Korea.”

Mr. Trump said last year, due to his demands, South Korea paid $990 million to the U.S. for its defense.

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