President Trump has demanded increased South Korean contribution to the U.S. presence in the country, a demand that places additional strain on the ongoing negotiations on the peninsula. The requested increase is as much as double the current amount, about $1.6 billion annually. Some sources have indicated a lower figure of about $1.2 billion. Under the existing 5-year contract that expires at the end of this year, South Korea contributes around $850 million towards the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the country. The South Korean president and leaders of the 5 largest political parties have indicated that they will not accept an increase, and US military and diplomatic staff have been working to stress the importance of the South Korean alliance to the U.S., attempting to encourage President Trump to avoid a hardline stance on the funding question. Officials from the two countries will meet this week in another attempt to reach agreement on the matter.
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