North and South Korea News

johnlocke

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
4,491
Points
113
Age
48
Location
Salisbury, NH

U.S., South Korean Negotiators Reach a Cost-Sharing Accord on Troops​

Breakthrough resolves a yearslong dispute on sharing the burden of the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula​



im-308531

South Korean and U.S. soldiers at Panmunjom, joint security area of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, in 2019.​

PHOTO: KIM HEE-CHUL/PRESS POOL
By
Michael R. Gordon
in Washington and
Andrew Jeong
in Seoul
Updated March 7, 2021 6:22 pm ET


The U.S. and South Korea have reached agreement on a new accord that would resolve a yearslong dispute on how to share the cost of American troops based on the Korean Peninsula, officials from the two countries said Sunday.
The new accord, which would last through 2025, would provide for a “meaningful increase” in the South Korean contribution, said a State Department spokesperson, who didn’t provide details.

The breakthrough on Sunday came during face-to-face talks in Washington, which were led by State Department negotiator Donna Welton and Jeong Eun-bo, South Korea’s chief negotiator on the issue. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the two sides were closing in on an agreement that would remove a major irritant in relations between Washington and its Asian ally.
Agreement between Seoul and Washington comes as the U.S. reached a parallel accord on burden sharing with Japan last month. The twin diplomatic moves are part of a broader push by the Biden administration to solidify ties with important allies.

“We are pleased that U.S. and Republic of Korea negotiators have reached consensus on a proposed text,” the State Department spokesman said, adding that it reflects the Biden administration’s commitment to alliances.

South Korea’s foreign ministry, confirming the agreement in principle, said in a statement that the latest round of talks in Washington were the first face-to-face negotiations on the issue in a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The accord still has to be approved by the South Korean legislature, although no major objections are expected.

RELATED​


Because the old cost-sharing agreement between South Korea and the U.S. lapsed at the end of December 2019, the new accord stipulates what South Korean payments are due for 2020 through 2025. The duration of the agreement is intended to provide a measure of stability in the relations between the two countries as they grapple with challenges posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and China’s growing military power.

“Now that we don’t have distractions, it brings more important issues front and center,” said Paul Choi, the managing director of StratWays Group, a risk consultancy in Seoul. “There are so many misunderstandings. We agree on objectives; we just don’t agree on how to get there.”
Washington and Seoul have maintained a cost-sharing agreement since 1991, though U.S. forces have been on the Korean Peninsula for more than seven decades. The arrangement allows the two countries to split the cost, with Seoul shouldering about 30% to 50%.
Known formally as the Special Measures Agreement, it has paid the salaries of Koreans working on American facilities, the costs of constructing or revamping on-post facilities, and logistical fees. The deal doesn’t pay for costs such as the salaries of American service members in Korea.
The agreements generally have been two to five years in length. But in 2019, the two sides broke with tradition as then-President Donald Trump demanded a fivefold rise in Seoul’s payments, asking South Korea to pay $5 billion for a year.
Under pressure from the Trump administration, South Korea offered the U.S. an initial 13% increase in the money it pays for burden sharing. There would have been further increases over the following four years, determined by the size of Seoul’s military budget, those people said. During the fifth year, the South Koreans would pay about $1.3 billion.

But Mr. Trump rebuffed that South Korean proposal and efforts to forge a compromise stalled. As the old deal lapsed, South Korea stopped making payments. Facing a deadlock, the Trump administration drew up options to remove some American troops from South Korea, according to U.S. officials.
The absence of a deal also forced American officials to furlough some of the 9,000 Koreans working on U.S. bases for over two months. The workers were called back when the U.S. military was able to secure emergency funds through the South Korean government last June.

The confusion over the sudden layoffs was compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and North Korea’s continued weapons tests throughout 2020. U.S. and South Korean military officials have said the lack of a cost-sharing agreement hasn’t affected their readiness against North Korea.
Expectations that a deal would be concluded have been high since the election of President Biden, who wrote in an opinion piece published in South Korea’s semiofficial Yonhap News Agency last year that he would avoid taking the transactional approach favored by Mr. Trump.
“As president, I’ll stand with South Korea, strengthening our alliance to safeguard peace in East Asia and beyond, rather than extorting Seoul with reckless threats to remove our troops,” Mr. Biden said then.
 
OP
johnlocke

johnlocke

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
4,491
Points
113
Age
48
Location
Salisbury, NH

North Korea Gives U.S. Cold Shoulder, Calls Nuclear Talks ‘Waste of Time’​

Top diplomat says no engagement until U.S. changes its policies toward the Kim Jong Un regime​



im-313247

North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui was seen on a televised news program in 2019.​

PHOTO: AHN YOUNG-JOON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
By
Timothy W. Martin
Updated March 18, 2021 3:19 am ET


SEOUL—North Korea sees no reason to return to nuclear talks with the U.S., a top Pyongyang diplomat said, despite multiple efforts by the Biden administration in recent weeks to engage.

Since the middle of February, the Kim Jong Un regime has received emails and phone calls from the U.S., at the North’s United Nations mission in New York and other avenues, according to a Thursday statement by Choe Son Hui, Pyongyang’s first vice minister of foreign affairs.
Ms. Choe, one of the North’s most prominent interlocutors with Washington, called the outreach a “cheap trick” to stall and drum up public support.

“It will only be a waste of time to sit with the U.S. as it is not ready to feel and accept new change and new times,” Ms. Choe said. “We make it clear that we won’t give it such opportunities as in Singapore and Hanoi again.”

The statement was released a few hours before Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met their South Korean counterparts on Thursday for a joint briefing with reporters.
“This shows that North Korea is closely watching the visit by the high-level U.S. delegation here, the ongoing U.S. policy review on North Korea and the U.S.-South Korean discussions,” South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said.
At the briefing, Mr. Blinken didn’t address Ms. Choe’s statement directly but said he hoped the Biden administration’s policy review for North Korea would be completed in the next few weeks.

Nuclear Diplomacy​



North Korea’s Reset With Biden: New Missiles, but Open for Talks

North Korea’s Reset With Biden: New Missiles, but Open for Talks
\
Jan. 15: Just days before Joe Biden’s inauguration, North Korea unveiled a new submarine-launched ballistic missile and labeled the U.S. as its biggest enemy. WSJ’s Timothy Martin explains why Pyongyang wants to be at the top of Washington’s agenda. Photo: KCNA/Shutterstock

The White House this week said it had reached out to the North to launch a dialogue about the Kim regime’s weapons program but didn’t specify through which channels or what the message was.

The U.S. and North Korea haven’t held formal nuclear talks since 2019. During the pause in negotiations, Pyongyang has kept advancing its nuclear-weapons program and conducted more than a dozen weapons tests.

At a rare Workers’ Party Congress meeting in January, Mr. Kim vowed that his country’s approach to U.S. relations wouldn’t change no matter who is president.

The two countries remain far apart on determining how and when Pyongyang should relinquish its nuclear arsenal.
In recent years, North Korea has rebuffed offers to rekindle talks, demanding that the U.S. first drop what the Kim regime considers to be a “hostile policy” toward the cloistered country. Pyongyang has often pointed to combined U.S.-South Korea military exercises and criticism about the North’s human rights violations as examples of hostilities.

Ms. Choe, in the Thursday statement, again conditioned restarting talks on the U.S. ending hostilities and criticized Washington for its “habit of doggedly faulting” the North.

“In order for a dialogue to be made, an atmosphere for both parties to exchange words on an equal basis must be created,” Ms. Choe said.

Pyongyang had remained relatively quiet over the past year as the regime contended with the pandemic. It didn’t acknowledge Mr. Biden’s election victory for weeks. But the North has become more vocal this week with Messrs. Blinken and Austin visiting the region for meetings in South Korea and Japan.

North Korea’s weapons program is a central issue in those meetings.

On Tuesday, Kim Yo Jong, the dictator’s younger sister, made the country’s first official comments to the Biden administration, warning the U.S. not to cause a stink if the two countries are to enjoy a peaceful relationship.
 
OP
johnlocke

johnlocke

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
4,491
Points
113
Age
48
Location
Salisbury, NH

North Korea Fires First Missiles During Biden Presidency​

U.S. says Kim regime launched short-range missiles, protesting joint American-South Korean military exercises​



im-315141

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping strolled near a guest house in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2019.​

PHOTO: KCNA/KNS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
By
Vivian Salama
and Nancy Youssef in Washington and
Andrew Jeong
in Seoul
Updated March 23, 2021 10:01 pm ET


North Korea launched several short-range missiles over the weekend, U.S. officials said, in a show of defiance against President Biden and his administration that was widely anticipated after joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

The weekend launches caused no damage and are being viewed more as a symbolic show of strength than one intended to inflict damage or hit any specific targets, according to two U.S. officials.

U.S. officials declined to provide details about the short-range missile launches or even how many were launched. The launches aren’t covered by the United Nations Security Council resolutions that govern such activity and they were on the “low end” of routine activity from the North Koreans, two senior administration officials said.
President Biden said he didn’t consider the launch a provocation.

“According to the Defense Department it’s business as usual,” he said at the White House. “There’s no new wrinkle in what they did.”
A senior U.S. official said Pyongyang “has a clear menu of provocations when it wants to send a message,” and “what took place last weekend is falling on the low end of that spectrum.”

Earlier Tuesday, South Korean defense officials said they were monitoring unusual activity by North Korea’s military in a sector close to the South Korean border, while on Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese leader Xi Jinping exchanged messages vowing unity amid rising U.S.-China tensions.

North Korea frequently fired off short-range missiles even as Kim Jong Un was negotiating with former President Trump and his administration on a denuclearization deal. Mr. Trump maintained that the short-range missiles weren’t a violation of the terms laid out in his discussions with Pyongyang, which ultimately failed to yield an accord. CBS News first reported the missile launches.

The Biden administration is nearing the end of a review of its policy with North Korea, the senior administration officials said. Next week, national-security adviser Jake Sullivan is expected to meet in person in Washington with counterparts from South Korea and Japan to discuss the U.S. posture with regard to North Korea, the officials said. It follows visits by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who visited both countries last week.

Just days before President Biden’s inauguration, North Korea unveiled a new submarine-launched ballistic missile and labeled the U.S. as its biggest enemy. WSJ’s Timothy Martin explains why Pyongyang wants to be at the top of Washington’s agenda.

A second senior official said the Biden administration consulted heavily with Trump administration officials regarding its diplomacy. Mr. Trump met twice with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in summit meetings, but those meetings didn’t result in any deals on nuclear weapons. The official said that there had been little diplomacy with North Korea in the last year of the Trump administration, and said it was possible the North had lost interest in engaging.

The Biden administration has reached out to Pyongyang, but hasn’t received a response. Officials continue to try to engage with the regime, officials said, but they declined to characterize the status of those diplomatic overtures.

“We are under no illusions about the difficulty this task presents to us,” the second official said. “We have a long history of disappointment in diplomacy with North Korea, it’s defied expectations of Republican and Democrats administrations alike.”
U.S. relations with Beijing, a key interlocutor on Korea issues, are at an ebb, potentially complicating efforts to re-engage with Pyongyang.

“Kim Jong Un likes to be sure we’re paying attention to him and that we know he’s not happy with the administration and its activities,” said Anthony Ruggiero, former head of the National Security Council’s North Korea directorate under Mr. Trump.
The North Koreans “want sanctions relief, they do not want to talk at this time,” said Mr. Ruggiero, now a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “For the Biden administration, this suggests they need to accelerate their policy review and decide on how to respond. The last thing they want to do is conduct a policy review after a long-range missile launch.”
For decades, both the U.S. and China have opposed Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons and North Korea’s tendency to raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula through armed provocations.

Beijing and Pyongyang also have consistently protested U.S.-led military exercises in the region. Washington and its allies have maintained those maneuvers are defensive in nature, and designed to deter aggression from North Korea.
This month, the U.S. and South Korea conducted annual defense exercises, which relied heavily on computer simulations to avoid provoking North Korea and to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus, according to senior South Korean officials.
Last week, Kim Yo Jong, the sister and senior aide to the North Korean leader, warned the U.S. that if it “wants to sleep in peace for the coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
 
OP
johnlocke

johnlocke

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
4,491
Points
113
Age
48
Location
Salisbury, NH

Yeonmi Park


We cannot be bullied by a dictator.

Please watch the video to see the current developments between the US and North Korea

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ-mh5kpnNw



This woman is amazing. Check her out sometime.

Yeon-mi Park is a North Korean defector and human rights activist who escaped from North Korea to China in 2007 and settled in South Korea in 2009, before moving to the United States in 2014. She came from an educated, politically connected family that turned to black market trading during North Korea's economic collapse in the 1990s.Wikipedia
 

BostonTim

IIWII
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
34,692
Reaction score
5,939
Points
113
Age
73

Yeonmi Park


We cannot be bullied by a dictator.

Please watch the video to see the current developments between the US and North Korea

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ-mh5kpnNw



This woman is amazing. Check her out sometime.

Yeon-mi Park is a North Korean defector and human rights activist who escaped from North Korea to China in 2007 and settled in South Korea in 2009, before moving to the United States in 2014. She came from an educated, politically connected family that turned to black market trading during North Korea's economic collapse in the 1990s.Wikipedia
Is she pretty? Some technical problem, I can only see the bottom half of the video. :coffee:

Cheers
 

AkPatsFan

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
7,630
Reaction score
1,712
Points
113
Location
Eagle River, Ak
So we went 2+ years without any threats from North Korea, we get a weak kneed spineless pedo elected as POTUS and once again, here we are, back to the same ole same ole.
 
Top