Last week Donald Trump demanded that South Korea increase their yearly contribution to paying for US troops in the Korean DMZ from $1 billion to $5 billion, Seoul's response was "screw you".
The United States broke off talks with South Korea on increasing Seoul’s contribution to the costs of hosting U.S. troops, after the two sides failed to narrow their differences on Tuesday in a row that has raised questions about the American deployment.
The breakdown in talks was a rare public sign of discord in the “airtight” alliance that has for 70 years formed a buffer against North Korean aggression, with each side blaming the other for being unprepared to compromise on sharing the costs of keeping 28,500 U.S. military personnel in South Korea.
U.S. President Donald Trump has insisted that South Korea pay more - and has also suggested pulling the troops out altogether.
“It is true that there is a substantial difference between the U.S. side’s overall proposal and the principles we pursue,” South Korean negotiator Jeong Eun-bo told a news conference. “The talks could not proceed as planned as the U.S. side left first.”
The two Koreas remain in a technical state of war under a truce, not a peace treaty, that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
The talks took place amid stalled U.S. efforts to reach a negotiated end to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
South Korean lawmakers have said the United States is seeking up to $5 billion a year, more than five times the 1.04 trillion won ($890.54 million) South Korea agreed to pay this year.
Neither side has publicly confirmed the numbers, but Trump has said the U.S. military presence in and around South Korea was “$5 billion worth of protection”.
Trump extorting our allies is kind of a thing, no?
Ahh, but that comes at a cost as apparently Seoul called Trump's bluff and are openly pursuing military ties with China.
The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.
On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence”, South Korea’s defence ministry said.
It's like Trump is trying to dismantle all of America's long-standing military relationships for a reason, especially in Asia and Europe.