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  August 04, 2015

South Korea and the United States have reached a deal on sharing defence costs.
The so called Special Measures Agreement (SMA) determines Seoul's share of the cost for stationing U.S. soldiers in the country, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
South Korea agreed to pay 866 million US dollars, or 920 billion South Korean won, to the United States to keep U.S. troops in South Korea.
The cost increased by 5.8 percent compared to what the government paid in 2013. The last agreement was made in 2009 and expired last year.
"We have negotiated this year's (defence costs) total amount at 920 billion Korean won (866 million US dollars) with a validity term of five years," South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Cho Tae-young, announced at a news conference in Seoul.
The agreement was reached after 10 rounds of negotiations between US and South Korean officials and is subject to parliamentary approval.
Both countries signed the first SMA in 1991.
Cho said both sides agreed to conduct jointly a "thorough review and evaluation" of the defence costs in order to improve transparency.
"We have implemented a new system, where there are periodic talks before decisions are made within the construction division," Cho said.

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