Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Negotiations on military costs between the United States and South Korea broke off without an agreement on Tuesday, after the U.S. negotiator called for an end to the talks.
Jeong Eun-bo, Seoul's chief negotiator, told reporters his U.S. counterpart James DeHart ended the meeting after 90 minutes. DeHart reportedly said he could not accept South Korea's proposal on military burden sharing for U.S. troops on the peninsula, South Korean news service MoneyToday reported.
The meeting began at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and was expected to be held until 5 p.m. The Trump administration has demanded a five-fold increase in South Korea's defense burden sharing, or about $5 billion annually. The move has been met with opposition in Seoul's parliament and citizen groups.
On Tuesday, Jeong said there was "significant difference" between the two sides.
The U.S. position maintains South Korea should be required to make major increases in defense contributions, through the "establishment of new [cost] items" previously not covered in past Special Measures agreements, Jeong said.
The South Korean negotiator added Seoul wants to keep the agreement in the original parameters that have been part of negotiations for the "last 28 years."
Jeong also said there were no discussions of reducing the number of U.S. troops on the peninsula during the negotiations.
DeHart suggested at a press briefing following the meeting the South Korean side had not signaled cooperation, local news service News 1 reported.
DeHart said the United States looks forward to resuming negotiations when South Korea is ready to cooperate on the basis of mutual trust and partnership, according to the report.
The U.S. negotiator added he ended the meeting in order to give South Korea time to reconsider its position.
U.S. officials may have asked Seoul to pay as much as $4.7 billion for the cost of keeping U.S. troops on and beyond the peninsula.
DeHart said U.S. demands are fair and equitable, according to South Korean news service Newsis on Tuesday.