Fearing Trump, South Korea Prepares to Pay Its Fair Share

Source: The American Conservative
by Doug Bandow

“The possibility of Donald Trump returning to the Oval Office has set off hysterical wailing across the Atlantic and Pacific. American allies used to cheap-riding on the U.S. for their defense fear a second Trump administration would either demand greater contribution or drop Washington’s defense guarantee entirely. Although European complaints about the possible loss of American military welfare have received the most public attention in recent weeks, South Korean officials are no less concerned about having to take over responsibility for their nation’s defense. Hence the imminent start of negotiations over the Special Measures Agreement, or ‘host nation support’ for the U.S. garrison in the South. The settlement won’t take effect until 2026. The two governments are rushing the talks to lock in a sweet deal for the Republic of Korea in case Trump wins in November.” (03/21/24)