Los Angeles Times

Trump's demand that South Korea pay more for US troops leads to impasse

WASHINGTON - South Korea is resisting a Trump administration demand for sharply higher payments to defray the cost of basing U.S. forces on its territory, raising fears that President Donald Trump might threaten a troop drawdown at a time of sensitive diplomacy on the Korean peninsula.

U.S. negotiators have sought a 50 percent increase in Seoul's annual payment, which last year was about $830 million, or about half of the estimated cost of hosting 28,500 U.S. troops, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the discussions.

The U.S. stance reflects Trump's view that U.S. allies have taken advantage of American military protection for decades - a view resented by many South Korean officials,

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