The United States on Tuesday broke off talks on increasing South Korea's share of the cost of hosting a US military contingent after the two sides failed to narrow differences in a row that has raised questions about the USA deployment.
"The talks could not proceed as planned as the USA side left first". North Korea still said differences between the two countries won't be addressed with minor concessions like establishing a liaison office between the countries or formally declaring the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Around 300 protesters gathered outside the venue where the talks began on Monday accusing the United States of "robbery", South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
US and South Korean officials have publicly acknowledged the allies remain far apart in negotiations for increasing South Korea's contributions to the costs for maintaining the American military presence on its soil.
USA negotiator James DeHart said the Americans broke off the talks to give the South Korean side "time to reconsider".
"Unfortunately, the proposals that were put forward by the Korean team were not responsive to our request for fair and equitable burden-sharing", DeHart told reporters. "We look forward to resuming our negotiations when the Korean side is ready to work on the basis of partnership, on the basis of mutual trust".
"U.S. forces are here also for their own interests, as an outpost aimed at keeping China and Russian Federation in check", the group said.
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Trump has long railed against what he says are inadequate contributions from allies towards defense costs.
"The United States believes that the share of defense spending should be increased in large amounts by such means as creating a new category", South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that it had argued for payment within a "mutually acceptable range" on the basis of an agreement that had been in place for 28 years. The Trump administration is set to begin separate defense funding negotiations with Japan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation next year.
On Sunday, the US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo held a joint press briefing to announce that their governments had agreed to postpone the Combined Flying Training Event as "an act of goodwill" to support the diplomatic efforts for North Korea to return to the denuclearization negotiations.
Minister Kim said they also talked about inter-Korean relations, including issues related to the now-suspended tourism program to North Korea's Kumgangsan.
North Korea said last week the US recently proposed via an unidentified third country its offer to meet again in December.
In his Tuesday statement, Kim Yong Chol also accused the USA of trying to buy time as a North Korea-set deadline for Washington to work out new proposals by year's end is approaching.
Ruling party lawmakers have said this week they will "refuse to ratify any excessive outcome of the current negotiations" that deviate from the established principle and structure of previous agreements.