- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2021

Negotiators in Washington and Seoul reportedly are close to striking a deal on a new cost-sharing agreement for U.S. military troops based in South Korea.

The deal will likely be a multiyear agreement by Seoul for a 13% increase in funding — the same figure they suggested in 2020 as their “best possible offer,” CNN reported, citing several sources familiar with the ongoing discussions.

Disagreements over the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) between the U.S. and South Korea strained relations between the countries during the Trump administration. The former president said South Korea should pay up to 400% more for the approximately 28,000 U.S. troops on the peninsula, CNN reported.

The final agreement between Washington and Seoul could mean mandated increases in South Korea‘s defense budget and an “understanding” that they will make certain military equipment purchases, CNN reported.

President Biden has said one of his goals is to improve relationships between the United States and long-standing allies such as South Korea.

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