SEOUL, April 4 (UPI) -- A South Korea parliamentary committee has ratified the new Special Measures Agreement signed by the United States and South Korea that increases Seoul's contribution to U.S. troops stationed in the country.
The National Assembly's foreign affairs and unification committee approved the deal reached on Feb. 10, News 1 reported Thursday. The contract is for one year, with an option for extensions.
South Korea agreed to raise its contribution by 8.2 percent and will pay $915 million under the agreement signed in 2019.
The South Korea committee said the purpose of the ratification is to cover the expenses of U.S. troops on the peninsula, and to strengthen the alliance with the United States, according to the report.
The parliamentary board also issued a statement on the increase, which came after U.S. President Donald Trump had complained about the cost of keeping U.S. forces on the peninsula. The group specifically called for a review of the way negotiations were handled, and South Korea's lack of experience in handling the U.S.-initiated negotiations.
The committee added a "review" of the use of South Korean contributions toward the support of "offshore assets" would also be necessary, according to News 1.
Some lawmakers in Seoul said South Korea's financial contributions have been used for the maintenance of U.S. warplanes in Japan, Yonhap reported Thursday.
Rep. Chun Jung-bae of the Party for Democracy and Peace said U.S. Forces Korea spent $84 million in SMA funds for fighter jets and choppers under the supervision of U.S. Forces Japan, from 2014-18.
The special measures agreement covers the stationing of South Korea-based U.S. troops.