"Talks have begun to further increase payments to the United
States. 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," Trump said in a Twitter post.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House did not immediately
respond to request for comment on the talks.
Trump has repeatedly said Seoul should bear more of the burden
of keeping some 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea,
where the United States has had a military presence since the
1950-53 Korean War.
South Korean and U.S. officials signed an agreement in February,
under which Seoul would raise its contribution to just under
1.04 trillion won ($927 million), an increase of about $70.3
million. The interim agreement was due to expire in a year.
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton discussed the
cost-sharing issue during his visit to Seoul in July, according
to the Blue House.
Trump's tweet comes ahead of U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark
Esper's first official visit to Seoul as part of a tour through
Asia in August. U.S. and South Korean militaries are planning to
stage a joint exercise this month as well.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and
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