The South Korean government has agreed to pay more for US troops stationed in their country. Currently the US Army, Navy and Marines total approximately 29,000 and the 990 billion won amount was increased to 1.03 trillion won or about $890 million. This short-term agreement of 1 year, as opposed to the 5 year terms in the past, must be approved by the South Korean parliament. The US has increased the size and number of bases in the region, asking local governments to give more financial support to US operations.
The US has had troops stationed in South Korea since the end of WWII, and number increased when North Korea invaded the south in 1950, triggering a war that lasted until 1953. During this war the US committed 326,000 troops with 33,700 deaths and over 100,000 wounded as a result of three years of fighting. North Korea has stated since 1945 that it will unify North and South Korea under a North Korean flag and leadership, thus preventing the US from leaving the peninsula. The Communist State in the North has made it clear that it will never accept the capitalist and democratic South Korea.
Despite having a clear military and economic lead in the 1950s and 1960s with the support of the Soviet Union and Communist China, North Korea has fallen on bad times, thus changing its international stance to that of an aggressive state – focused on Japan, the US and South Korea – that will use any means necessary to drive its political agenda.