Pentagon dismisses report of U.S. troop withdrawal from ROK
22 Nov 2019, 02:42 ( 19 days ago)
U.S. Defense Department on Thursday dismissed a South Korean (ROK) newspaper's report on a possible withdrawal of up to 4,000 U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula if Seoul refuses to contribute more to the costs of the American military deployment.
"There is absolutely no truth to the Chosun Ilbo report that the US Department of Defense is currently considering removing any troops from the Korean Peninsula," said the Pentagon in a statement.
"We are demanding the Chosun Ilbo immediately retract their story," the statement added.
The Pentagon's announcement came after Chosun Ilbo, citing a diplomatic source in Washington with knowledge of the negotiations, reported that the United States was mulling the pullout of an entire brigade, roughly 3,000 to 4,000 troops, should South Korea refuse to accept an increase in payments for the U.S. military presence in the country.
The United States reportedly demanded around 5 billion U.S. dollars from South Korea for next year's upkeep cost for U.S. soldiers there. South Korea agreed to pay about 870 million dollars this year.
Earlier this week, South Korea and the United States ended their negotiations in Seoul on how to share upkeep cost for the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) without progress.
Around 28,500 U.S. troops are currently deployed in South Korea.