WB cooperates with S. Korea, to support in N. Korea

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha right and Timothy Betts acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements in the U.S. Department of State shake hands for the media before their meeting at Foreig

"The United States government realizes that South Korea does a lot for our alliance and for peace and stability in this region", he said.

Most US troops were withdrawn in 1949 but they returned the next year to fight alongside South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean war.

The provisional pact was agreed to after Seoul reportedly accepted the U.S.'s demand of fixing a one-year contract from the previous five-year one while Washington agreed to adjust the South's contributions to around 1 trillion won.

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who doubles as Vietnam's deputy prime minister, flew into Pyongyang in the afternoon at the invitation of his counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, and is expected to stay through Thursday.

Seoul and Washington have held 10 rounds of talks since March, amid Trump's calls for South Korea to pay more.

South Korean officials have said they had sought to limit its burden to 1 trillion won ($889.7m) and make the accord valid for at least three years.

Seoul said Sunday it agreed to hike its payment for maintaining American troops on its soil, settling a dispute with its longtime ally ahead of a second summit between the USA and North Korea.

North Korea has been under one of history's strictest global sanctions regimes since November 2017, the last time the regime conducted an illegal missile test.

They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back some of USA troops in South Korea, as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

But South Korean officials yesterday told Yonhap news agency that the U.S. had affirmed it would not be changing its troop presence.

Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman of South Korea's presidential Blue House, said on Sunday that President Moon Jae-in would discuss the upcoming summit with Trump "soon" and that US and North Korean officials would be meeting in an unspecified Asian country next week.

After the June meeting, Mr Trump had announced a halt to joint military exercises with South Korea, saying they were expensive and paid for mostly by the US.

South Korea has agreed to substantially increase its contribution to cover the cost of keeping USA troops in that country.

Vietnam welcomed the news, expressing confidence in its readiness to host the second Trump-Kim meeting.

The Reuters report also notes that 70 percent of funds contributed by Seoul go toward salaries for approximately 8,700 South Korean workers who provide support services for the U.S. military.

Services had not been interrupted thanks to reserve funds, but USFK had warned the Korean Employees' Union that it would have to put local staff on unpaid leave beginning in mid-April if a deal wasn't reached.

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