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KEI Spotlight

KEI Fellow Kyle Ferrier Underscores South Korea's Dilemma in Diplomat Magazine

August 1, 2019

KEI Fellow Kyle Ferrier underscores the dilemma facing the South Korean government in the face U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton's demand that Seoul pay $5 billion/year for hosting U.S. troops. 

On one hand, South Korea is confused by how the U.S. government reached this figure as it vastly exceeds the figure that one gets through White House's publicly announced equation for calculating burden sharing.

Seoul has attempted to ameliorate the White House's unfounded hostility towards South Korea's contributions by increasing purchases of U.S. military hardware. However, this has now been used as pretext by the North Koreans for testing their missiles. 

In this delicate scenario, the U.S. government's line of negotiation fails to consider shared security interests and allows Pyongyang to exploit gaps between Washington and Seoul.

Please read the full article here