Trump says talks with South Korea under way over defense costs

U.S. President Donald TrumpU.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday talks have begun aimed at getting South Korea to pay more for the cost of maintaining U.S. troops in the region to guard against any threat from North Korea.

“Talks have begun to further increase payments to the United States. South Korea is a very wealthy nation that now feels an obligation to contribute to the military defense provided by the United States of America,” the Republican president said on Twitter.

South Korea’s presidential Blue House did not immediately respond to request for comment on the talks.

Trump has repeatedly said Seoul should bear more of the burden for keeping some 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, where the United States has had a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korean and U.S. officials signed an agreement in Feburary under which Seoul would increase its contribution to just under 1.04 trillion won (£705.9 million), an increase of about $70.3 million.

The interim agreement was due to expire in a year