Malaysia to settle its problem with North Korea, says Dr M | Malaysia

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The new deal must still be approved by South Korea's parliament, but it would boost its contribution to 1.03 trillion won (687.68 million pounds) from 960 billion won in 2018.

About 28,500 United States troops are stationed in South Korea, where the U.S. has maintained a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War. Unlike prior deals, which have lasted five years, the one signed on February 10 expires in one year.

South Korea has agreed to substantially increase its contribution to cover the cost of keeping USA troops in that country.

The president had been harping about South Korea not paying its fair share since the 2016 campaign, making this new agreement a clear victory for his policy of getting other nations to pay more for US force protection.

The Stanford experts said it was their assessment that "North Korea can not deliver a nuclear warhead with any measure of confidence to the USA mainland", although Hecker said its nuclear weapons were a real threat to Japan and South Korea.

Last month, a senior South Korean ruling party legislator said negotiations were deadlocked after the USA made a "sudden, unacceptable" demand that Seoul pay more than 1.4 trillion won ($1.2bn) per year.

Last month, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress he believed it was unlikely North Korea would give up all its nuclear weapons and that it had continued activity inconsistent with pledges to denuclearize.

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The production came in spite of nuclear talks with the US led by the historic summit in Singapore last June.

They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back some of USA troops in South Korea, as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea is expected to announce its candidate city later this week - the likely choice is its capital Pyongyang - before or during the International Olympic Committee meeting, Seoul officials told AFP. Washington's top negotiator, Betts, also met with South Korea's Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, before signing the agreement.

Trump has been eager for a second summit with Kim even though their first meeting in Singapore in June produced only vague commitments from Kim and little concrete progress since.

Seoul said Sunday it agreed to hike its payment for maintaining American troops on its soil, settling a dispute with its longtime ally ahead of a second summit between the U.S. and North Korea.

Major joint exercises have been suspended, but some small-scale drills have continued, earning rebukes from North Korea's state media in recent months.

"Seoul will cooperate with the national government so that the 2023 summer Olympics become something more than a sports festival - an opportunity to change the fate of the Korean peninsula", said Seoul mayor Park Won-soon. US intelligence is not certain how many nuclear warheads North Korea has.

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