South Korea, US sign deal for increased payment for US troops

South Korea, US sign deal for increased payment for US troops
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The U.S. and South Korea on Friday signed an agreement to increase South Korea's financial contributions to U.S. forces stationed in the area after months of discussions between the two countries.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris signed the agreement at a ceremony, according to The Associated Press, which reported that the deal still requires parliamentary approval in the country.

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The deal represents “the results of hard work and sometimes difficult work," Kang told reporters during the ceremony Friday, according to the AP, adding that it is something the U.S.-South Korea alliance "can build upon to become stronger and greater.”

South Korea's agreement with the U.S. follows months of negotiations over the proposal following criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE over the amount of South Korea's monetary contributions to U.S. troops.

“The reason I do not want military drills with South Korea is to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the U.S. for which we are not reimbursed," Trump tweeted last year.

He echoed those comments following a summit with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, in Vietnam last week.

“I was telling the generals — I said, 'Look, you know, exercising is fun and it's nice,' and they play the war games," Trump told reporters. "And I'm not saying it's not necessary, because at some levels it is, but at other levels, it's not. But it's a very, very expensive thing. And you know, we do have to think about that too.”

A five-year contract that expired in December previously required South Korea to pay $830 million per year to the U.S. in order to support more than 28,500 American troops stationed in the region.