North and South Korea to submit joint bid for 2032 Olympics

US President Donald Trump at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland on Friday

Officials say a jointly-hosted Olympics is an opportunity for sports diplomacy to bring stability to the Korean peninsula, but its feasibility is dependent on North Korea's denuclearization plans, which will be discussed during upcoming talks between Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi.

Last month, a senior South Korean ruling party legislator said negotiations were deadlocked after the U.S. made a "sudden, unacceptable" demand that Seoul pay more than 1.4 trillion won ($1.2bn) per year.

The administration had demanded the South Koreans pay $1.2 billion, but Seoul balked at that amount.

The negotiations ended with South Korea's foreign ministry saying Seoul will pay about 1.04 trillion won (US$924 million) in 2019, 8.2 percent more than what it offered under a previous five-year pact which expired at the end of last year.

But both sides worked to hammer out a deal to minimise the impact of the lapse on South Korean workers on US military bases, and focus on nuclear talks ahead of a second US-North Korea summit, Seoul officials said.

A sign for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics is displayed by a road leading into PyeongChang, on February 11, 2018, in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

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The two countries have been in a security alliance since the 1950-53 Korean war, which ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty - with more than 28,000 United States troops stationed in the South to guard against threats from Pyongyang.

The disagreement had raised the prospect that Mr Trump could decide to withdraw at least some troops from South Korea, as he has done in other countries like Syria.

"South Korea has to think about the cost involved in keeping the deterrence at the level they would like, while the threat is clearly present", James Kim, global relations expert at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, told Sputnik Monday. Betts also said the U.S.is pleased with the results, acknowledging Seoul's contribution to the alliance.

Their first summit in Singapore last June resulted in Kim's vague commitment to "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", a term that his propaganda machine previously used when it argued it would only denuclearise after the United States withdraws its troops from South Korea. Also, the deal was originally going to be for five years, . but the USA insisted on just one year.

The Reuters report also notes that 70 percent of funds contributed by Seoul go toward salaries for approximately 8,700 South Korean workers who provide support services for the U.S. military.

Timothy Betts, the US State Department plenipotentiary who was present to sign the agreement on the United States' behalf, said the money was a small but important part of the relationship between the two countries.

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