After the United States became the country with the most severe COVID-19 pandemic in the world, the first country Trump thought of calling for help was South Korea, hoping that South Korea could export COVID-19 test kits to the United States. Recently, after overcoming domestic difficulties, the Moon Jae-in government exported 600,000 test kits to the United States. Both US Secretary of Defense Esper and Trump expressed “thank you” for South Korea’s export of anti-epidemic supplies to the United States, but they quickly turned their faces ruthless, and emphasized that the cost of defense of the US military in South Korea cannot be reduced.
On April 14, Esper first responded to the US-South Korea defense cost-sharing negotiations at the Pentagon press conference and asked South Korea to support more military spending. Esper said: "Thank you very much for South Korea's export of viral nucleic acid test kits to the United States! South Korea is a rich country and should pay more to the US military in South Korea." It is reported that the United States requires South Korea to increase protection fees from the original US$870 million. To $5 billionYuan, South Korea’s upward adjustment plan is to increase by 13%, that is, increase to 983.1 million US dollars.
On April 20, Trump said at the White House press conference on the epidemic that day: “South Korea gave me an offer, but I rejected it. ". When a reporter asked if the United States would withdraw its troops from South Korea if South Korea did not agree to the increase, Trump responded: "The defense cost negotiations have nothing to do with reducing the size of the US military in South Korea."
It is reported that the 11th Korea-U.S. defense cost-sharing negotiations have been conducted for 11 rounds. The differences between the two sides have not actually diminished, and there is currently no possibility of reaching an agreement. Since the tenth agreement expired on December 31, 2019, the US military was once in a very passive situation. As early as 2019, there was news from South Korea that if South Korea did not agree to increase military spending to $5 billion, the US military would withdraw part of its combat troops from South Korea. The US Secretary of Defense subsequently confirmed that this was a rumor, and the US announced the 2020 defense budget plan also confirmed that 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea will not be reduced. In other words, even if South Korea does not pay the US military a penny, the United States will not withdraw its troops from South Korea.
Korea It is stated that the South Korean side has already incurred more than US$10 billion in expenses for the relocation of the US troops in South Korea, and it also purchases a large amount of US military weapons each year, and has made a significant contribution to the US-South Korea military alliance. After the South Korean side confirmed that the US military will not withdraw, In the course of the negotiations, it took a tougher attitude. The South Korean government also made a fuss about the pollution treatment of the base after the relocation of the US military in South Korea, demanding the United States to bear the related costs; the South Korean private protest against the US military’s soaring "protection fees" has risen. The U.S. Embassy in South Korea was surrounded several times, and the U.S. ambassador became the object of protest; the South Korean government also pushedThe environmental protection assessment time of the "THAAD" anti-missile system has been delayed, leaving the system in a "temporary" deployment state.
The U.S. has just begun to use the issue of handing over military command to South Korea during wartime countermeasures, accusing the South Korean army of not being prepared at all, and asking South Korea to purchase more key equipment and conduct more exercises. . Seeing that the South Korean side refused to give up a step in the negotiation process, the United States launched the "King Bomb" in March 2020, threatening to let more than 9,000 Korean employees serving with the US military in South Korea take unpaid leave from April 1. Since April, the first batch of more than 5,000 Korean employees of the US military in South Korea will be on holiday. Since then, the US military war in South Korea has been severely impacted, and the South Korean government has been at a disadvantage in the negotiation process.
Some analysts believe that the US military is inseparable from maintaining a combat state in South Korea With the support of Korean employees, what the U.S. military is doing now is almost "abolishing martial arts", which is tantamount to severely harming South Korea’s national defense security and driving South Korea to a dead end. If South Korea has not paid military expenditures that satisfy the United States, it will be impossible Obtained wartime combat command in a short period of time. The Americans took command of combat without serious preparations, and did not intend to withdraw troops from South Korea, leaving the South Korean government in a hurry. Judging from the attitude of Trump and the US Secretary of Defense, What Americans value most is not the U.S.-South Korea alliance or South Korea’s national security, but military expenditure. No matter how South Korea is fighting the epidemicNo matter how to help the United States on the issue of circumstances, it is impossible for the United States to cancel its request for $5 billion in military spending.
South Korea now has two options. One is to agree to Trump’s "blackmail", but it will be strongly opposed by the domestic people. For the Moon Jae-in government, which has greatly increased its support rate, this price is unacceptable; the second option is not to give in on the issue of military spending, and take the opportunity to accelerate the pace of national defense independence.. The Moon Jae-in administration has always advocated making South Korea a normal country. With the surrounding peace and stability, military negotiations with the United States are not an opportunity for South Korea’s defense independence. Of course, Trump also emphasized that asking for money has nothing to do with the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea. The Koreans are still far from driving the American troops away.