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Trump's Defense Price Hike Rocks the U.S.-South Korean Alliance

MIN READNov 15, 2019 | 22:08 GMT

(Stratfor)

U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly demanded that South Korea pay $4.7 billion next year -- or 400 percent more than what it currently pays -- for continued U.S. defense protection. The move comes as the Special Measures Agreement, the burden-sharing agreement that covers how much South Korea pays for the U.S. military presence on its soil, is once again up for renegotiation. This is not the first time that Trump has sought to increase the price South Korea pays for the U.S. military presence. When the Special Measures Agreement came up for negotiation last year, Trump demanded a 50 percent increase before settling on an 8 percent rise. At the same time, however, the countries agreed to renew the agreement every year. Ultimately, however, Trump's demand is likely to hurt the key U.S.-South Korean alliance and lead Seoul to seriously question its dependence on Washington and continue its push...

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