Is there no US ally that Donald Trump does not want to piss off?
Courtesy of WaPo:
The United States broke off talks with South Korea on Tuesday over how to share the cost of the two nations’ military alliance, injecting fresh tension into the relationship over Washington’s demands that Seoul pay sharply more.
President Trump has demanded South Korea raise fivefold its contribution to cover the cost of stationing 28,500 U.S. troops in the country, asking for nearly $5 billion, officials on both sides said. But that demand has triggered anger from Korean lawmakers and sparked concerns that Trump may decide to reduce the U.S. troop presence in the Korean Peninsula if talks break down.
The top U.S. negotiator, James DeHart, said the U.S. side decided to cut short the negotiations on Tuesday morning, the second of two days of planned talks. In a rare public show of disunity between the allies, he blamed South Korea for making proposals that “were not responsive to our request for fair and equitable burden sharing.”
“As a result we cut short our participation in the talks today in order to give the Korea side time to reconsider,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to resuming our negotiations when the Korean side is ready to work on the basis of partnership, on the basis of mutual trust.”
This year, South Korea agreed to pay about $890 million toward the cost of stationing U.S. troops in the country, a little more than 40 percent of the day-to-day expenses. It also provides land for bases rent-free, paid more than 90 percent of the $10.7 billion cost of moving the main U.S. base out of Seoul, and buys significant amounts of U.S. military equipment.
But Trump insists that South Korea, as a “very wealthy nation,” needs to pay more. His demand for up to $5 billion would imply South Korea was effectively not only being asked to cover local costs but also the entire wage bill for the U.S. troops.
Keep in mind that Trump recently made a similar request to Japan.
It should also be pointed out that hearing this will greatly please North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un who sees both South Korea and Japan as mortal enemies.
Does anybody think that is just a concidennce?
In the meantime, North Korea has theatened to resume their long-range missile tests with seemingly no threats of reprisal levied by the Trump Administration.
You know if I were a suspicious person…….