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S. Korea, U.S. to meet over defense cost-sharing this week Updated: 2020-03-16 17:07:34 KST

South Korea's chief negotiator on defense costs, Jeong Eun-bo, will be leaving for Los Angeles Monday evening for a two-day meeting with his American counterpart, James DeHart.
From Tuesday, they'll be discussing how much South Korea should pay to have American troops stationed here.
They were scheduled to meet last month, but that never happened, so they haven't met since January.

"Because the negotiations have been delayed, there's been a vacuum in our negotiations and issues have arisen like the furlough notices given to South Korean workers at U.S. bases. There are still difference in views, but we've continued to communicate. We'll work to strike a deal as quickly as possible."

Despite six rounds of talks since last September, the allies have not been able to agree on how much Seoul should be paying under this year's Special Measures Agreement.
The U.S. initially requested 5 billion dollars, which is five times what South Korea paid last year.
It reportedly stepped back from that request, but Seoul still sees the amount as excessive.
Ramping up the pressure, the U.S. has sent notices to South Korean workers at U.S. bases saying they'll soon be put on unpaid leave.
Seoul has proposed reaching a separate deal first on those wages and later incorporating that into this year's overall agreement..
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