In previous cost-sharing agreements, South Korea paid only for three categories – personnel costs for South Korean workers hired by U.S. troops, military construction costs such as building facilities inside U.S. bases, and military aid costs, such as services and materials. Article V of the agreement states that the United States will bear all costs associated with the maintenance of U.S. troops, with the exception of costs to be borne by South Korea, including equipment and compensation for “all facilities and all areas and rights of way.” In the last one-year agreement reached in February 2019, South Korea agreed to increase its contribution to just under 1.04 trillion won ($927 million), an increase of about $70.3 million over the previous agreement. According to South Korea`s Defence White Paper, personnel costs, of South Korea`s approximately 932 billion won in 2015, amounted to about 37%, construction costs to 45%, and the rest to military aid spending. According to South Korea`s Defense White Paper released in December, Korea operates about 90 fighter jets, 40 combat helicopters and about 60 Patriot missile launchers. The United States is targeting an additional cost category that South Korea must bear in the ongoing negotiations, South Korea`s foreign minister said, without elaborating. U.S. President Donald Trump has previously called the presence and activities of U.S.
troops in and around South Korea a “$5 billion protection.” Reports by Joyce Lee; Jack Kim and Lincoln Feast. In 1966, the two countries signed the Status of the Armed Forces Agreement (SOFA), which sets the rules for and protection of U.S. personnel stationed in South Korea. At the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, the United States and South Korea signed a mutual defence treaty in which the two countries agreed on collective self-defense that would be threatened either in the peaceful region. This agreement served as the basis for the deployment of U.S. forces to South Korea. Among the most important bases are the U.S. Army`s Humphrey Garrison in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, United States.