The SMA agreements had already been reviewed every five years, until 2018, when the Trump administration pushed for annual renegotiations. Seoul wanted and hoped to reach a long-term agreement again to maintain a stable alliance and ensure the security of the Korean Peninsula. Since Trump used the annual negotiations to call for a sharp increase in Seoul`s defense contributions, many experts have said signing a one-year term does not benefit South Korea`s national interests. Neither the State Department nor the State Department provided details about the deal, including the rate of increase in defense costs and the duration of the deal. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that the new deal will be valid until 2025, while Reuters reported that the deal will be a six-year deal. News outlets mainly cited anonymous sources at the State Department or State Department, with limited official statements at the time of this letter. Shin Beomchul, director of the Center for Diplomacy and Security at the Korea National Strategy Research Institute, called the new agreement “stable” and fair for now. However, the deal could become unfair because of the new provision tying the special agreement to the entire defense budget, Shin said. The agreements between Seoul and Washington must be ratified by the South Korean National Assembly after they are officially signed. Experts predict that the ADM will be completed by the end of March. South Korea`s Foreign Ministry issued a press release saying the two sides reached an agreement in principle following the SMA negotiations between Seoul and Washington last week. The two countries will announce the results of the negotiations in more detail and sign a preliminary statement once the internal reporting process is complete. The State Department also stressed that Seoul will help strengthen the U.S.-South Korean alliance and common defense posture by signing the agreement as soon as possible.

The failure of the talks had real consequences, as about 45 percent of Korean employees working for USFK had to be fired because no deal could be reached last year. Without an agreement, the South Korean government and the National Assembly had to unite to temporarily pay workers by enacting a new law and issuing implementing regulations. A State Department spokesman also told the Wall Street Journal that the two countries had reached an agreement on the SMA negotiations, saying the deal included “a significant increase” in Seoul. The spokesman said the deal demonstrated “the Biden administration`s commitment to reviving and modernizing our democratic alliances around the world.” From this point of view, it is important to ensure a stable stationing of US forces in Japan and a smooth and efficient functioning of the Japan-US armed forces. As the security situation around Japan becomes increasingly serious, the Japanese government is supporting the rent for U.S. armed forces facilities and areas and funding for the Facilities Improvement Program (PIF) under the U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. Under special measures agreements, Japan also bears the costs of labor, supply costs, and the costs of reinstalling training for U.S. forces in Japan. After three days of negotiations in Washington, South Korea and the United States have finally concluded talks on the Agreement on Special Measures (SMA), according to a March 8 statement from the South Korean Foreign Ministry.

The SMA negotiations, which cover South Korea`s contribution to the costs of the US Armed Forces in Korea (USFK), had been deadlocked since last year, so the previous agreement expired without replacement. “The South Korean government must negotiate the annual growth rates of the agreement in addition to national defense budgets in the upcoming negotiations,” the party statement said. Seoul is expected to contribute $1.02 billion for 2021, up 13.9 percent from the $896.62 million spent last year. The renewed agreement applies retroactively to South Korea`s contribution from last year, which was transferred from 2019 after negotiations to extend the deal were stalled under President Donald Trump`s administration. South Korea`s Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement Wednesday that the new agreement “should create the conditions for a stable U.S. deployment. Armed Forces Korea and contribute significantly to the improvement of the . Alliance. “The 13 percent increase in defense costs will be higher than the increase in previous negotiations,” Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy, told The Diplomat. “I think Seoul had called for a rate below 13 percent in recent negotiations, but that couldn`t have worked because of its initial offer — a 13 percent increase — to the Trump administration.” Kim added that last year, due to Trump`s “America First” approach, it was impossible to reach an agreement on the size of the increase. The governments of Japan and the United States both conducted a comprehensive review of the HNS to make it more stable, efficient and effective, and signed a new agreement on special measures on January 21, 2011. The new agreement entered into force at the end of March of the same year after approval by Parliament.

The entry into force period of this new agreement on special measures is five years, and the agreement stipulates that (1) in terms of labor costs, the ceiling on the number of employees in Japan will be gradually reduced from 23,055 to 22,625 over the term of the agreement. (2) Japan`s charge for utilities in each fiscal year is capped at ¥24.9 billion; Given that the percentage of expenditure incurred by Japan has been gradually reduced from approximately 76 per cent to 72 per cent of annual ancillary costs over the past five years, (3) the cost of relocating training to areas under the administration of the United States of America, such as Guam, is recovered, and (4) the United States will make additional efforts, to save these expenses.. .