S. Korea, U.S. not discussing S. Korean troop deployment to Strait of Hormuz: Jeong
Updated: 2020-01-17 13:33:49 KST
South Korea's chief negotiator for defense-cost sharing talks with the U.S. Jeong Eun-bo confirmed on Thursday that the protection of global oil supplies from Iran-related risks is NOT being discussed between the two allies.
Jeong made the comments at Washington's Dulles International Airport on his way back to Seoul, after the latest round of negotiations in Washington ended without an agreement on Wednesday.
Jeong said while the two sides have broadened their understanding through the course of many discussions, they still need to resolve their differences.
He added the two sides are not discussing anything outside the framework of the Special Measures Agreement.
While Jeong did mention Seoul has been emphasizing its arms purchases from Washington, he said they are not discussing any specific purchases.
"There was no discussion of specific weapons-related projects that are being mentioned in the media or about making payments out of the Defense Ministry's budget."
Meanwhile, the Pentagon says some of the money from the cost sharing deal will flow back into the South Korean economy.
The Chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman, said on Thursday, that President Trump has been pressing for an increase in other countries' share of defense costs since he took office, whether it's the Middle East, Europe, or Asia.
He also pointed out that some of the money from the deal actually goes back "directly into the South Korean economy" in terms of goods and services.
He gave the example of the hiring of South Koreans who work on U.S. military bases.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.