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Seoul to Pay Salary for USFK’s Furloughed Korean Staff

Seoul has told Washington it is willing to pay the salaries of furloughed Korean staff of the U.S. Forces Korea until negotiations the forces’ upkeep conclude.

Korean staff were put on unpaid leave early this month to twist Korea’s arm as the U.S. demands a massive hike in Seoul’s share.

A Cheong Wa Dae official told the Chosun Ilbo on Sunday that Seoul wants to pay the salary of the furloughed staff from government coffers and then deduct the amount from any final deal.

A Defense Ministry spokesman said a special bill will have to be passed by the National Assembly to authorize the cost.

It remains to be seen whether Washington will accept the offer. “There has been no response yet,” the Cheong Wa Dae official said.

Another government official said, “We made the latest offer to clarify our desire to settle the issue of the USFK employees soon.”

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