Pentagon chief Mark Esper said that South Korea is rich enough to pay most of the costs linked to the deployment of American troops on its territory, AP reported.
“This is a very strong alliance we have, but Korea is a wealthy country and could and should pay more to help offset the cost of defense,” Esper told a joint news conference with his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo.
According to him, while South Korea has provided “a fair amount of support in the past,” it is important to point out that “most of that money stays here in this country -- easily over 90% of that money stays here in Korea, it does not go to the United States.”
South Korea currently pays just under $ 1 billion a year for US military support. The South Korean press writes that Washington is demanding that Seoul pay about $ 4.7 billion. Neither Esper nor his South Korean counterpart confirmed this figure.