NSC reviews strategy on defense cost talks with U.S.
SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) on Friday reviewed issues related to defense cost-sharing talks with the United States, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Seoul and Washington are expected to hold another round of Special Measures Agreement (SMA) negotiations in Hawaii next week.
It would be the first bargaining session since the Moon Jae-in administration appointed Jeong Eun-bo, a veteran finance official, as its new top negotiator.
The U.S. is calling for a sharp increase in Seoul's contribution to the presence of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea.
In the weekly meeting of the NSC standing committee, presided over by Chung Eui-yong, head of Cheong Wa Dae's national security office, its members also agreed to push "in stages" for measures to follow up on Moon's proposal to turn the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into an international peace zone. He put forward the idea in last month's speech at the U.N. General Assembly.
The panel decided to make detailed checks and preparations first for steps that can be taken at an early date, Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
They also reaffirmed a commitment to active cooperation with the U.S. and the international community so that the goal of completely denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula can be achieved as early as possible, it added.
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