I think the ROK should be very careful how they approach these negotiations because the public and Congress are not in the mood anymore to let wealthy nations freeload off the US defensive umbrella:
U.S. and South Korean officials will negotiate how much each country will pay for American military support on the Korean peninsula during a second round of talks later this month.
Negotiations over a renewal of the cost-sharing agreement are planned to conclude in October after six or seven rounds, three South Korean foreign ministry officers told Stars and Stripes on Friday on condition of anonymity.
The first meeting was held in Washington on Tuesday. Although officials declined to provide details, Washington was expected to ask for more than the roughly $800 million Seoul has paid annually since the last agreement was signed in January 2009.
A Senate Armed Services Committee in April reported that U.S. spending was expected to outpace South Korea’s contributions by $330 million.
On Thursday, South Korean broadcaster KBS reported that South Korea will balk at U.S. requests for significantly higher spending. [Stars and Stripes]
You can read more at the link, but to put the cost sharing in comparison Japan spends $2 billion annually to support 38,000 US troops. Like I have always said, I believe a wealthy nation like the ROK should split the costs 50/50 with the US. They are no longer a developing nation, but instead one of the world’s most affluent nations that can afford the additional cost.