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Seoul preps bid to co-host 2032 Summer Olympics with North Korea

13 February 2019

They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back some of US troops in South Korea, as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In their meeting, Kang said the allies were able to close the gap on the size of South Korea's contribution thanks to goodwill and trust.

Officials signed a short-term agreement yesterday to boost South Korea's contribution towards the upkeep of United States troops on the peninsula, after a previous deal lapsed amid US President Donald Trump's call for the South to pay more. Although North Korea has made no official announcement about the summit so far, political experts are not seeing it in a negative light.

Malpass also appealed for South Korea's backing for his becoming the next president of the Washington-based lending institution. The two are believed to be scheduled to discuss a path to denuclearizing North Korea and, thus, allowing for the formal end of the Korean War, technically ongoing since 1950.

"The two leaders, from South Korea, President Moon [Jae-in], and from North Korea, Chairman Kim [Jong-un], have asked us to continue to support their talks of rapprochement through actions in sport", said Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president. He also has insisted that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members increase their contributions, and the issue is expected to arise soon in Japan in talks on funding the 50,000 US troops based there.

South Korea signed a provisional agreement to pay around 1.04 trillion won this year for the stationing of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) troops here, a rise of 8.2 percent year-on-year.

Trump surprised Seoul and many of his own aides when he announced after his first summit with North Korea on June 12 that he was suspending joint war games with South Korea, which he called "very expensive" and "provocative". Under Park, the city is expected to establish an inter-Korea cooperation fund of $35.5 million. Situated at the epicenter of one of the world's most geopolitically volatile regions, the Korean Peninsula is of particular strategic importance to US policy and posture across East Asia.

The U.S. State Department senior adviser for security negotiations and agreements, Timothy Betts, met Kang before signing the agreement on behalf of the United States, and told her the money represented a small but important part of South Korea's support for the alliance.

Seoul contributes around 70 percent to cover the salaries of some 8,700 South Korean employees who provide administrative, technical and other services for the United States military.

Late past year, the USA military had warned South Korean workers on its bases they might be put on leave from mid-April if no deal was agreed.

Seoul preps bid to co-host 2032 Summer Olympics with North Korea