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S. Korea, US lay out respective visions for new defense cost-sharing deal: US negotiator

By Yonhap

Published : April 27, 2024 - 10:25

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Photo captured from the State Department's website shows Linda Specht, a senior adviser and lead negotiator for security agreements at the department. (Yonhap) Photo captured from the State Department's website shows Linda Specht, a senior adviser and lead negotiator for security agreements at the department. (Yonhap)

South Korea and the United States outlined their respective visions for a new bilateral defense cost-sharing deal during their first round of negotiations in Honolulu this week, the top US negotiator said Friday.

Linda Specht, senior advisor and US lead negotiator for security agreements at the State Department, made the remarks after the initial round of talks over the deal, named the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) took place from Tuesday through Thursday.

The talks are aimed at determining how much Seoul should pay for the stationing of U.S. Forces Korea. The current six-year SMA is set to end at the end of next year.

"The United States and Republic of Korea outlined their respective visions for the 12th SMA," she said in a statement. She did not elaborate on the visions.

"Our commitment to reinforcing the readiness of our combined defense posture underlines the enduring vitality of the US-ROK alliance. We will continue to consult whenever necessary to further strengthen and sustain the Alliance under the 12th SMA," she added.

Shortly before the talks, Specht said that the U.S. seeks a "fair" and "equitable" outcome in the SMA talks.

Since 1991, Seoul has partially shouldered costs under the SMA for Korean USFK workers; the construction of military installations, such as barracks, and training, educational, operational and communications facilities; and other logistical support. (Yonhap)