Police and protesters in South Korea

Demonstrations in South Korea Demanding Refusal of Payments for US Troops Maintenance

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Several demonstrations took place on Monday in the capital of the Republic of Korea in protest against the US demand to repeatedly increase payments for the maintenance of American troops in the country.  The rally was held near the building of the Institute for Defense Research, where on Monday a regular round of talks on this topic between representatives of the two countries will take place.

Demonstrators from 50 non-governmental organizations, as well as trade union confederations, called on the republic’s government to freeze payments and start negotiations on the reduction or complete withdrawal of the 28,000th US military contingent from the country.  Speakers also emphasized that Washington is trying to use its presence in South Korea to contain China and Russia, while trying to put all the costs on Seoul.

In the evening, activists plan to hold a rally with candles near the residence of the American ambassador in Seoul, Harry Harris.

This year, Seoul’s spending on maintaining the US contingent was increased by 8.2%, to 1.04 trillion won ($ 915 million).  On November 7, YTN, citing the head of the parliamentary committee for the unification of the Republic of Korea, Yoon San Hyun, said that Washington had demanded that Seoul increase the share of South Korea’s contributions to joint defense by almost five times to $ 4.7 billion. It was also noted that the US insisted on  that South Korea increase its spending on the maintenance of units of the US armed forces and beyond the Korean peninsula.

United States troops have been in South Korea since the Korean War (1950-1953).  The conditions of their stay are governed by an agreement on assistance in mutual defense, signed on January 26, 1950 by the two countries.

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