Former US President Donald Trump on Friday accused his South Korean counterpart of robbing the United States, while continuing to emphasize his alleged friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“Kim Jong-un of North Korea, whom I have known (and appreciated) in the most difficult circumstances, has never respected the current president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in,” Trump said in a statement.
“President Moon was weak as a leader and as a negotiator, except when it came to the ongoing, long-term US military hoax … We have been treated like fools for decades, however, I convinced them to pay billions of dollars more. for military protection and the services we render “.
“The Biden administration will not even ask for the additional billions that South Korea has agreed to pay us,” added Trump, referring to current president Joe Biden.
During his presidency, Trump positioned himself as the main negotiator in peace talks on the Korean peninsula.
He first met with Kim in Singapore in June 2018, the first ever summit between countries still technically at war, and later said the two leaders “fell in love.”
The couple met twice more during Trump’s tenure and North Korea kept nuclear and missile tests at bay, but analysts say Pyongyang has continued to push forward with its weapons programs.
In March, South Korea agreed to pay 13.9% more for the cost of US troops’ presence on the peninsula, in a six-year deal that solved a problem that had arisen under the Trump administration.
The financial dispute had plagued the two allies’ security alliance after Trump – who took a transactional approach to foreign policy – repeatedly accused South Korea of freeloading.
Washington has approximately 28,500 troops in South Korea to defend it from nuclear-armed North Korea, as well as to protect US interests in Northeast Asia.
Under the new deal, Seoul agreed to pay 1.18 trillion won ($ 1.03 billion) for 2021, with annual increases subsequently tied to its defense budget.
The sum represents a 13.9% increase from the roughly $ 920 million Seoul was paying under the previous deal, which expired in 2019, but is a far cry from the Trump administration’s initial demand of $ 5 billion a year.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and is posted by a syndicated feed.)