From United Press International

South Korea signs deal to raise financial burden for U.S. troops 8.2%

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- South Korea on Sunday signed a provisional deal to raise its contribution for U.S. troops in the nation by 8.2 percent.

In the agreement approved in Seoul, South Korea will pay $890 million for 28,000 U.S. forces, up from $870 million, Yonhap News Agency reported. The contract is for one year and South Korea had wanted it for three to five years, but there is an option for extensions, according to South Korea's Foreign Ministry.

To become official, the deal must still be approved by South Korea's National Assembly, which is expected in April. The U.S. Congress doesn't need to ratify the accord.

South Korea will expand its contribution in goods or services, instead of money, for construction and logistical support.

COMMENT:-

First, maybe I'm missing something here, but the increase was for 20 million on a former base of 870 million. I've checked with a Grade Sixer and he tells me that 20 is around 2.3% of 870 ([20/870] x 100 = 2.3). Would someone please check those calculations for me?

Second, the increase that the US government was seeking was from 870 million, to 1,200 million. My math consultant tells me that that would have been an increase of around 37.9% ([{1200-870}/870] x 100 = 37.9). They also tell me that 2.3 is less than 37.9. Would someone please check those calculations for me?

Third, since the Korean inflation rate is 1.5%, my math consultant tells me that 870 million adjusted for inflation would be 883.05 million (870 x 1.015 = 883.05). If that were the case then, according to my math consultant, the real increase would have been around 6.95 million (890 - 883.05 = 6.95) and that 6.95 is around 0.80% of 870 ([6.95/870] x 100). Would someone please check those calculations for me?

Now, if those calculations are correct, what I would like to know is whether or not the US government spent more than 6.95 million dollars (including ALL expenses related to travel and accommodation for the 10 negotiating sessions) to negotiate a contract worth 6.95 million dollars and, if so, how much.

Quite frankly, the headline is CRAP!. The ROK defence budget is 39.2 BILLION dollars and a 20 million dollar increase in expenditures only increases it by 0.05% (0.018% if you are talking about the additional, above inflation, increase) and the whole 890 million dollar cost works out to around 2.27% of the total ROK defence budget.

PS - To "expand a contribution in goods and services" by $X, all you have to do is adjust the books to show an increase in "imputed cost". In fact, you can "expand a contribution in goods and services" while actually lowering the amount of goods and services that you deliver by increasing the "imputed cost" faster than you decrease whatever it is you deliver.