South Korea is increasing, by 6.6 percent, the amount of money it
pays towards the costs of American troops being stationed in South Korea. There
are currently about 30,000 American troops there, and it costs the United
States about $3.5 billion a year. Next year, South Korea will pay $790 million
to help defray those costs. American troops have been in South Korea for over
60 years, since the end of World War II in 1945. The troops are there to help
protect South Korea from any other attack by North Korea (whose 1950 invasion
led to a three year war, and a 53 year old ceasefire.) As South Korea's economy
has boomed, payments to defray the expense of U.S. troops was begun, in 1991,
and have been increasing. The 1991 payment was $150 million.
payments were first seen in Germany and Japan, where the U.S. urged those
nations to help cover the cost of having American troops there to help defend
them during the Cold War. Those payments continue, because the U.S. forces are
also a major contributor to the local economy.