The Chief of the United States forces in Korea gave Seoul a big pat on the back on Friday saying South Korea paid for 90% of the build cost of America's biggest oversees military budget.
mmander Vincent Brooks made the comments at the opening of the new headquarters for US Forces in Korea at Pyeongtaek just south of Seoul.
>> The Republic of Korea investment was over 90%, 90% of the costs. And for that 90%, the United States remains with you 100%.>> The base, dubbed Camp Humphreys cost nearly $11 billion and took ten years to complete. The US and South Korea are currently in talks over how to share the costs of keeping US forces in the South, starting in 2019.
The current agreement expires at the end of this year. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called on Seoul to shoulder more of the cost of the 28,500 US troops based in South Korea. After his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June, Trump announced the US would stop joint military exercises with South Korea, saying they were too costly and a provocation to the North.
>> We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money.>> Officials in both the United States and South Korea have declined to say how much the exercises cost each country. On Friday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in lauded the opening of the new base.
Moon credited the presence of US troops in the South as well as diplomatic efforts by all sides for recent progress towards getting rid of the North's nuclear arsenal.