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Pentagon chief presses S. Korea to pay more for US troops

Pentagon chief presses S. Korea to pay more for US troops

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper pressed Seoul on Friday to pay more towards the cost of stationing US troops in South Korea and to maintain an intelligence-sharing pact with its other Asian ally Japan.

Speaking after a high-level defense policy meeting with his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo, Esper also said the two countries have to be flexible with their joint military drills to support ongoing diplomatic efforts to end North Korea’s nuclear program, Reuters reports.

However, he stopped short of announcing any changes to exercises next month that North Korea has sharply condemned.

Pyongyang said on Thursday that it had turned down a US offer for fresh talks ahead of a year-end deadline that North Korea set for Washington to show more flexibility in negotiations.