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US ramps up shakedown for cash from South Korea

US President Donald Trump (R) meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in​ at the InterContinental Barclay Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, the US, on September 23, 2019. (Photo by AP)

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

US President Donald Trump meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in New York suggested Seoul would purchase more US weapons.

South Korea also hosts some 28,500 US troops in dozens of US bases, with Washington and Seoul now engaged in talks on the split of the expenses for American forces.

The cost-sharing for the upkeep of US troops in South Korea had previously been negotiated every five years. US President Donald Trump has insisted the agreement be re-negotiated annually, with significant increases in South Korea's burden.

Activists in Seoul voiced the concern that South Korea sacrifices too much in an agreement they see as aggravating regional tensions. This year, South Korea pays the US 870 million dollars for US troops, an 8.2-percent increase from the previous deal.

Meanwhile, South Korean lawmakers Tuesday outlined intelligence indicating US-North Korea talks on denuclearization would start within 2 or 3 weeks, with a possible Trump-Kim summit later this year. 

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