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S Korea says it wants U.S. troops to stay regardless of any treaty with N Korea

22 Comments
By Christine Kim

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You mean they didn't see the thin end of the wedge until just now?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Smart move.

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Yeah, it's been pretty friggin' obvious for a long time. Guess Pompeo is putting in the word. We'll see how the SK people feel about the prospect - that's all that matters.

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South Korea said on Wednesday the issue of U.S. troops stationed in the South is unrelated to any future peace treaty with North Korea and that American forces should stay even if such an agreement is signed.

It would be more correct to say "the government of South Korea............."

Not all Korean support having the U.S. troops. South Korean also pays about 40% of the total costs of the American troops which is lower than Japan which pays about 76% of the total costs for the troops stationed there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Really, just think of all the (I'll be polite here) "hostesses" and "entertainers" who would be out of work if US forces left South Korea

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I think the troops will stay where they are if North and South continue to be two separate countries but under unification that gets far trickier because the Chinese would argue that would give them the freedom to come right up to the Chinese border and I doubt they would accept any guarantees by a united Korea that would not be the case.

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It would be very difficult to second guess the results of this issue.

However, most probably both Japan and USA for the time being would like to keep US forces in S. Korea regardless of united Korea. For both USA and Japan, the two Korea must be an effective deterrent to both China and Russia, until both China and Russia prove to be non-aggressive. So far both are trying to take what ever land and natural resources Japan may have, openly and covertly, so that may never happen.

But Japan cannot rely on S Korea to continue to be its ally when they do unite. When the government openly support anti-Japan movement within their educational system encouraging young Korean students to actively criticize in public rallies and through public protests and worldwide disruption via the comfort ladies issue, placing statues in Korean embassies and cities all over the world. They even allowed civilian religious group to "take" historical items from Japanese temple on the basis of it was theirs to begin with hundred years ago.

And N Korea does not want to be reminded of the abductee issue, which was easier to resolve discreetly but now forced to by too much public awareness worldwide. It is bad enough that Japan continue to support the economic sanctions and open distrust of N Korea.

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Been to SK a few times and met many Koreans. Every single one of them hates the Americans (military) and want them to leave.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Been to SK a few times and met many Koreans. Every single one of them hates the Americans (military) and want them to leave.

This is true, but whenever something happens with the North they insist, demand and remind the US, we have an obligation to fulfill and we need to protect them, they also love the USD. They want their cake and eat it too.

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Can the Chinese take over for the Americans in S Korea at this point? Wait, they're responsible for preventing U.N. forces from liberating all of Korea and propping up N Korea all these years, never mind.

How about the Russians... oh, never mind, lol

Anyway, Kim Jong Un has dropped his insistence on U.S. troops leaving S Korea. But it would be nice to be able to bring them back home to help guard the southern border until the Wall is built.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

South Korea has some 750,000 conscripted troops why would it need US babysitters ?

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South Korea has some 750,000 conscripted troops why would it need US babysitters ?

Because if any Americans in SK are killed by NK or Chinese troops, then SK knows, without a doubt, that the USA is with them.

I have a feeling that the USA is a better friend to SK and China is to NK.

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SK is saying exactly what the US tells them to say. The US dictates SK foreign policy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

South Korean also pays about 40% of the total costs of the American troops which is lower than Japan which pays about 76% of the total costs for the troops stationed there.

Do you have a source for these numbers? This link says very different. Unless I'm reading this very wrong, Japan has roughly twice the number of US troops but looks like it only pays about 1/3 the total cost while Korea is paying about half the total cost.

https://www.stripes.com/news/gallup-poll-south-koreans-confident-about-us-support-japan-uncertain-1.445289

*Japan pays an average of 189.3 billion yen per year, which has fluctuated between $1.6 and $1.9 billion **depending on exchange rates, to support U.S. bases in the country as part of a five-year deal signed in 2015.*

Japan also spent 176 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in 2016 toward realignment of U.S. forces in the region, which includes transferring Marines to Guam in the 2020s.

*U.S. bases in Japan cost $5.5 billion in 2016**, a figure that doesn’t include $1 billion in Japan-provided labor, according to the Pentagon’s 2017 operation and maintenance overview. Half of the $5.5 billion went toward U.S. personnel paychecks and costs.*

*U.S. and South Korean officials say Seoul paid nearly $850 million last year, or about half the total cost for the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed on the peninsula.*

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Ug, once again my formatting gets all screwed up. I don't know where those asterisks came from and that last section is all supposed to be in italics.

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Japan pay for U.S.Military troops.

Direct support $3.2 billion/¥356 billion.

Indirect support ¥$1.8 billion.

Total paid $5 billion 74.5% of the total costs.

SK pays (2014) $867 million. 40% of total costs.

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Sounds like the whole thing is unraveling before it starts. Three decades of nuclear and missile development in the face of UN sanction and NK is going to give it up? AND sign a Peace Treaty with US troops remaining in SK? Unification when the NK constitution says unification to be under the Kim regime? Maybe at least "somebody" will get a Nobel Peace Prize out of all this.

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Japan pay for U.S.Military troops.

Direct support $3.2 billion/¥356 billion.

Indirect support ¥$1.8 billion.

Total paid $5 billion 74.5% of the total costs.

SK pays (2014) $867 million. 40% of total costs.

Please provide an actual source for these numbers. Nowhere have I seen Japan paying 5 billion a year, even when in 2016 when they assisted paying for the relocations.

From my source above: Japan pays an average of 189.3 billion yen per year

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Back in February Trump had decided to withdraw all U.S. troops out of Korea but was persuaded by COS Kelly not to do that.

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extanker 

I need to correct my figures which I think were until 2004 but then reduced.

In 2002 Japan provided direct support of $3.2 billion and indirect support worth $1.18 billion for the U.S. military in Japan, offsetting as much as 74.5 percent of the total costs of U.S. forces in the country.

Trump has argued Japan should pay all the costs of stationing U.S. forces in the country.

According to the 2017 Operation and Maintenance Overview by the Office of the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense, the direct cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan is estimated at $5.47 billion (¥595 billion) for fiscal 2016, which includes personnel, operations, maintenance, construction and family housing.

Japan is set to pay ¥192 billion to support U.S. forces in fiscal 2016.

In addition, Japan pays various other costs related to the U.S. forces, which totaled ¥364.6 billion ($3.35 billion) for the same fiscal year. 

If all those costs are included, the share of Japan’s financial burden is calculated at 48.3 percent.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/16/reference/trump-remarks-prompt-debate-cost-japan-u-s-defense-ties/#.WuqSJi-B1TY

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S Korea says it wants U.S. troops to stay regardless of any treaty with N Korea

That will certainly be a dealbreaker as far as N Korea is concerned. If S Korea insists U.S. troops must stay, then N Korea will say all bets are off, cancel the summit talks and withdraws the denuclearization offer.

On the other hand, when Kim demands U.S. forces removal as prerequisite for denuclearization, agree then see whether he follows through with his promise.

If he doesn't, then immediately send all U.S. forces (including the Marines and their Ospreys) currently on Japan mainland and Okinawa to S Korea.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If all those costs are included, the share of Japan’s financial burden is calculated at 48.3 percent.

@Zichi,

No worries, I really did want to know if the figures I found were wrong. But in the end it actually looks like Korea and Japan share almost the same percentage of the burden.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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