After President Trump set off a furor over who should pay for a U.S. missile defense system of which’s being installed in South Korea, his national security chief said Washington will pick up the check. For the time being, at least.
White House national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster told his South Korean counterpart of which the U.S. could continue to bear the cost of the system, according to a statement Sunday coming from the office of the South Korean president.
McMaster was responding to the controversy Trump stirred up last week with South Korea, a key U.S. ally in Asia.
“I informed South Korea the idea could be appropriate if they pay” for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday. “of which’s a billion-dollar system.”
Related: Trump: South Korea should pay for $1B missile defense system
The deployment of THAAD has already proved unpopular with many South Koreans in addition to also hurt the country’s relations with China. The South Korean Defense Ministry has repeatedly said the country will provide the land however won’t foot the bill for the system, which can be designed to protect against the threat of missiles coming from North Korea.
McMaster’s reassurances to to Kim Kwan-jin, the South Korean director of national security, of which the U.S. could stick to the existing deal appeared to contradict Trump’s remarks. however in an interview Sunday with Fox News, McMaster denied of which suggestion.
“of which’s not what the idea was,” he said. “What I told our South Korean counterpart can be until any renegotiation, of which the deal can be in place. We will adhere to our word.”
Related: Trump leaves door open for military action against North Korea
McMaster said the Trump administration plans to renegotiate the U.S.’s defense relationships with South Korea in addition to also “all of our allies … we need everybody to pay their fair share.”
however the South Korean Defense Ministry isn’t interested in going back to the table on the THAAD issue.
“I don’t believe This kind of can be a matter of which can be renegotiated,” spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said Monday.
South Korea already helps pay for the cost of the roughly 28,500 U.S. troops currently stationed in South Korea, contributing nearly 1 trillion won ($880 million) every year.
The existing agreement over those terms expires at the end of 2018, in addition to also negotiations over its renewal are anticipated to start around the end of This kind of year.
sy88pgw (Hong Kong) First published April 30, 2017: 11:54 PM ET