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Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Esper say ROK is “not a dependent” in WSJ op-ed

The Sunday editions of Asahi, Yomiuri, and Sankei reported that Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Esper contributed a joint op-ed to The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 16 titled, “South Korea Is an Ally, Not a Dependent,” demanding that South Korea pay more for the stationing of U.S. forces in Korea. Asahi claimed that the two officials expressed displeasure by writing that “South Korea bears no more than one-third of the costs most directly associated with the stationing of U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula.” The paper also noted that they maintained that more than 90% of South Korea’s cost-sharing contributions go back into the local economy. Noting that Seoul reacted sharply to a request from the U.S. for a five-fold funding increase, the daily said the op-ed was aimed at applying pressure on the ROK in order to extract concessions.

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