President Trump does so many good things that the Democrats and the press won’t even mention. But, this week, President Trump worked out a deal for South Korea to increase the amount of money they contribute to the stationing and maintenance of the 285,500 troops we keep in South Korea to protect them from the North Koreans.
Most presidents probably never even gave it a thought, but Trump doesn’t missw a trick and it allows him to have a stronger military because of the money we save. South Korea was happy about the new arrangement because they don’t want us to pull our troops out of their country and leave them vulnerable.
The new spending agreement lasts for only one year, while previous agreements lasted for five years. Prior to the spending increase, South Korea covered about 40 percent of the cost of constructing and maintaining U.S. military facilities. 70 percent of South Korea’s support covers the salaries of 8.700 South Koreans who provide administrative and technical services for the 28,500 American troops stationed in their country.
According to Reuters, South Korean officials wanted to cap spending at one trillion won (the new total works out to 1.03 trillion) and sign a three-year agreement, while the U.S. wanted 1.4 trillion won. Ten rounds of negotiations were required over the span of a year to hammer out the new deal.
South Korea resisted increased spending but was concerned President Trump might put U.S. troop withdrawal on the table, or offer to scale back joint military exercises with the South even further, when he meets with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Vietnam later this month – especially if the second Trump-Kim summit paves the way for a formal declaration of peace in the Korean War.
South Korean officials also worried that local workers might lose their jobs if the U.S. decided to cut costs at its military facilities.