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Korea, US aim for deal next week on sharing USFK cost

South Korea said Friday it will hold another round of negotiations with the United States next week on sharing the cost of stationing American troops on the peninsula.

The two sides are running out of time for an agreement. The existing accord is to expire at the end of this year.

South Korean officials said they aim to strike a deal in the four-day talks to open in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Tuesday.


It would mark the 9th round of negotiations the Special Measures Agreement.

"South Korea and the US plan to have in-depth consultations to coordinate their stances on the basis of what was discussed in the previous session," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

At issue is Washington's call for a sharp increase in Seoul's contribution.

Washington has called for Seoul to significantly increase its contribution from the current 960 billion won ($851 million) a year to support the stationing of the 28,500-strong US Forces Korea.

The US wants South Korea to pay, at least partly, for the regular or emergency deployment of so-called strategic assets to Korea.

The assets include advanced US weapon systems, such stealth fighters, aircraft carriers and nuclear subs.

Senior diplomats of the allies had four days of meetings in Seoul last month. 

South Korea is represented by Chang Won-sam, a career diplomat who served as ambassador to Sri Lanka, and his counterpart is Timothy Betts, deputy assistant secretary of state for plans, programs and operations. (Yonhap)