South Korea Expects No Change in US Ties Regardless of November Election, Official Says

Credits: Reuters

South Korea expects no fundamental shift in relations with the United States even if a new president is elected but hopes to make progress on defense cost-sharing talks and other issues this year, according to a senior presidential official.

Speaking with a small group of journalists on Monday, the official emphasized that South Korea does not base its policy on predictions about the U.S. presidential election in November. However, both countries aim to advance efforts to strengthen security partnerships before then.

South Korean Law Maker (Credits: Yahoo Finance)

The allies have agreed to initiate early talks on sharing the cost of keeping U.S. troops in South Korea. They will also accelerate discussions to enhance Seoul’s role in operating U.S. extended deterrence, including the American nuclear umbrella.

The official noted that there is an incentive for the Biden administration to work more actively on these issues as it completes its first term this year. Both sides agree on the need to achieve progress, which is why they have agreed to begin negotiations on defense cost-sharing and finalize arrangements on extended deterrence.

South Koreans (Credits: CSIS)

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, it has previously stated that its delegation visited South Korea in December to discuss the defense cost-sharing deal and would collaborate with Seoul to prepare for talks on the next agreement.

Regarding the potential election of former President Donald Trump as the Republican candidate, the official stated that South Korea would collaborate with his administration.

However, the alliance would remain unchanged, partly due to solid support from the U.S. Congress for greater bilateral cooperation and a trilateral partnership involving Japan.

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