A memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which the Korean government signed the 'Korean government will pay the salary of Korean workers' during the 7th round of the Korea-US Defense-Special Agreement on Defense-Specific Agreement (SMA) held in Los Angeles, USA on the 17th to 19th (local time). It was reportedly obsessed with the proposal to sign a deal, but the United States was said to have refused it.

The agreement was not reached even though the government announced that it would take measures to stipulate the principle of the burden of labor costs on the part of Koreans in order to prevent large numbers of unpaid leave by Korean workers in the USFK due to difficulties in negotiating defense expenses.

As a result, there is growing concern that starting from the 1st of next month, it will be increasingly difficult to prepare a solution to prevent unpaid leave for Korean workers.

According to government officials on the 20th, Defense Defense Coordinator Eun-Bo Jeong and US State Department Defense Defense Coordinator James D. Hart held the 7th meeting to sign a special defense-sharing agreement in Los Angeles, USA on the 17th and 19th, but revealed the difference in admissions from the total amount of contributions, etc. No agreement was reached.

During this process, Ambassador Chung was known to have concentrated his bargaining power on the 'first settlement of labor costs' to prevent unpaid leave for Korean workers.

In particular, during this process, Ambassador Chung persistently sought to find a point of contact by suggesting a memorandum of understanding with the intention that 'the salary of Korean workers will be paid by the Korean government.'

Ambassador Chung also confirmed at the Los Angeles International Airport that day, in the event of a delay in the agreement on the total amount of defense expenditures in the negotiations, the Korean worker's labor cost exchange memorandum was first agreed to be agreed.

Ambassador Chung said, "The USFK's position on the issue of unpaid leave for Korean workers should be resolved as soon as possible." In this regard, if there is a slight delay in the total settlement agreement, even the exchange memorandum will be agreed first and, if necessary, ratified consent by the National Assembly I think I will receive it, and I am proposing it (to the United States). ”

Ambassador Chung said, "The United States is against it (in exchange for a proposal for an exchange memorandum) under the pretext that it could be a delay factor in the negotiations."

When asked whether the two countries would have more chances to negotiate before the first day of next month, when unpaid leave could become a reality, he judged, "It is realistically difficult to have face-to-face meetings in various conditions related to the new coronavirus infection." He said, "There are various means of communication such as telephone and e-mail, and there is also an embassy channel, so we decided to continue discussing."

The U.S. Department of State also said that about half of the 9,000 Korean workers in the United States Forces Korea who are forced to take unpaid leave if the agreement is not agreed.

Meanwhile, as concerns over the realization of unpaid leave have increased, the resistance of Korean workers in the USFK is also increasing.

The USFK Korean Workers' Union held a press conference in front of the U.S. Embassy on this day and criticized that "the unprecedented situation of giving unpaid leave to Korean workers will be a blemish in history that undermines the spirit of the ROK-US alliance."

"The United States is forcing the United States and the US State Department to buy the US-ROK alliance for money," the union said in the interview. "The United States is negotiating in hostage not only with 9,000 Korean workers, but also tens of thousands of USFK families." I did.

He emphasized, "To protect the Republic of Korea and the people, to protect the USFK and families, all of our Korean workers will begin the struggle to work."