Seoul and Washington discuss who pays for anti-missile system
Costs amount to about one billion dollars. Trump: "It would be worthwhile to pay." Seoul: "The South Korean government provides site and facilities, the United States pays for installation and management." Washington: "Renegotiate or terminate" the free trade agreement.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - US President Donald Trump says South Korea has to cover the costs of deploying the Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense system. Washington and Seoul are currently working on the installation of some key components of Thaad at Seongju, South Korean Peninsula. The transaction costs amount to about one billion dollars.
"I informed South Korea that it would be appropriate to pay. It is a system worth billions of dollars, "said US President. Trump adding he intends to "renegotiate or terminate" the Free Trade Agreement with the South, which he termed "horrible".
The deployment of Thaad is an important topic of discussion in the ongoing presidential race in Seoul. Moon Jae-in, forerunner and Democratic Party candidate, has already pledged to revisit the agreements in case of victory in the elections.
In response to Trump's statements, the South Korean Defense Minister has made it clear that South Korea does not intend to bear the costs. In a statement it said that there is no change to the "base position" in the agreements between the two countries: the South Korean government provides the site and related facilities, the United States pays for the installation and management of the Thaad.