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S. Korea, U.S. set for formal signing of defense cost deal

Defense 15:25 March 07, 2019

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States will sign a formal agreement this week on an 8.2-percent hike in Seoul's share of the cost of stationing American troops here, an official said Thursday.

The two sides plan to hold a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Seoul on Friday afternoon, represented by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris.

Last month, South Korea agreed to pay 1.04 trillion won (US$920 million) in 2019 for the operation of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), up from 960 billion won the previous year. The deal will valid for a year.

The government has completed related administrative procedures with Cabinet approval earlier this week. It aims to get the accord ratified by the National Assembly by the end of this month so that the agreement can take effect in April.

The U.S. does not need congressional ratification of the Special Measures Agreement.


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