Trump Says South Korea Agrees to Pay U.S. More for Defense Against the North

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An Apache chopper took off at U.S. base Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, on Monday as South Korea and the U.S. kicked off a joint military exercise.


Photo:

Yonhap News/Zuma Press

President Trump said Wednesday morning that South Korea had agreed to pay “substantially more” for American troops stationed in South Korea to defend against North Korea, resurfacing a longstanding complaint from the president as Pyongyang continues weapons tests.

Seoul’s foreign ministry said official talks over the shared military costs have yet to start. “It is not appropriate to comment on another country’s leader’s comments on social media,” according to a foreign-ministry statement.

It wasn’t clear whether Mr. Trump was referring in a pair of tweets to a new deal or a previous agreement for Seoul to increase defense cost-sharing payments.

The president also said that talks were under way to further increase the amount of money Seoul paid for U.S. defenses.

Earlier this year, South Korea agreed to increase its share of the costs by about $100 million, up from its previous commitment to pay about $830 million a year, which covered about half of the estimated annual cost of hosting more than 28,500 American troops based in South Korea.

Mr. Trump’s comments came just over a day after North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles, Pyongyang’s fourth weapons test in roughly two weeks.

Write to Alex Leary at alex.leary@wsj.com and Timothy W. Martin at timothy.martin@wsj.com

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