Office of the Spokesperson
October 18, 2019
The United States will host the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Honolulu, Hawaii October 22-24 for consultations on the Special Measures Agreement (SMA). The SMA, a type of burden-sharing agreement, is the mechanism by which the Republic of Korea shares the costs of U.S. forces to defend the Republic of Korea. The United States has had SMAs with the Republic of Korea since 1991 and this new agreement will replace the existing SMA which expires at the end of 2019.
The U.S.-ROK Alliance is strong and vital for regional peace and stability. We appreciate the considerable resources the Republic of Korea provides to the U.S.-ROK Alliance, including but not limited to the Korea SMA, but the President has been clear that the Republic of Korea can and should contribute more of its fair share.
The United States invests significant military resources and capabilities to meet our defense treaty obligations around the world. Satisfying these obligations comes with enormous costs. Sustaining the costs of our global military presence is not a burden that should fall on the U.S. taxpayer alone, but is a responsibility that should be shared fairly with allies and partners who benefit from our presence.
The United States seeks a fair and equitable outcome to the SMA negotiations for both countries that will strengthen and sustain the resilient U.S.-ROK Alliance.